Wednesday, April 16, 2008
All right, then: they could talk. But did they have anything to say?
Neanderthals have spoken out for the first time in 30,000 years, with the help of scientists who have simulated their voices using fossil evidence and a computer synthesizer.We were shocked to read the above, because we have always assumed that Neanderthals were among us still; it seems, in fact, that for the past few years we have been bombarded with Neanderthal conversation seven nights a week. Is it possible that we have been listening, all along, to an incredibly lifelike simulation?
Robert McCarthy, an anthropologist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, used new reconstructions of Neanderthal vocal tracts to work out how they would have sounded, NewScientist.com reported on Wednesday . . . .
McCarthy, who based his reconstructions on 50,000-year-old fossils from France, aims eventually to simulate an entire Neanderthal sentence.
Neanderthals were a dead-end offshoot of the human line who inhabited Europe and parts of west and central Asia. Researchers believe they survived in Europe until the arrival of modern humans about 30,000 years ago.