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Neanderthals may`ve had proper language

Last Updated: Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 10:21

London: Our distant cousins, the Neanderthals, were mostly right-handed and they may have had a proper language too, says a new study.

An international team, led by University of Kansas, has carried out the study and found the dominance of right- handedness around the world may date back to 500,000 years
ago, the `Live Science` reported.

The trait of right-handedness is commonly believed to be a sign of the development of another uniquely human trait -- language.
"We are right-handed because the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the left side of brain is where language is processed. This is important because it tells us that they were brain lateralised just like we are, and they probably had a language capacity," David Frayer, who led the study, said.

Previous studies of ancient humans have shown evidence of handedness in tools, cave art, and bones. Now, researchers claim to have found evidence of ancient humans` handedness in
the oddest of places -- front teeth.

Scratch marks can be used to determine if ancient humans, living more than 500,000 years ago, used their right or left hands to process animal hides. During processing, they would stretch the hide by holding one side with one of their hands and the other in their mouth.


First Published: Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 10:21

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