"For the past 150 years, early humans have been regarded as inferior to us, unable to create art, think abstractly, or even to speak." -- John Feliks, scholar, 2009
"... early peoples such as Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Neanderthals, and Homo heidelbergensis were just as intelligent as we are in today's modern world." -- John Feliks, scholar, 2009
Science Daily: Use of Body Ornamentation Shows Neanderthal Mind Capable of Advanced Thought
ScienceDaily (Jan. 12, 2010) — The widespread view of Neanderthals as cognitively inferior to early modern humans is challenged by new research from the University of Bristol published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Professor João Zilhão and colleagues examined pigment-stained and perforated marine shells, most certainly used as neck pendants, from two Neanderthal-associated sites in the Murcia province of south-east Spain (Cueva de los Aviones and Cueva Antón). The analysis of lumps of red and yellow pigments found alongside suggest they were used in cosmetics. The practice of body ornamentation is widely accepted by archaeologists as conclusive evidence for modern behaviour and symbolic thinking among early modern humans but has not been recognised in Neanderthals -- until now.