Human speech developed 530,000 years ago
The hyoid bone is the only bone in the body that is not directly connected to another bone. The hyoid is supported by the muscles of the neck and it, in turn, supports the base of the tongue. Scientists agree that the hyoid bone and its position in the throat is what makes human speech possible.
Some time ago, it was discovered that Neanderthals had hyoid bones. This made it possible to deduce that Neanderthals living throughout Europe 230,000 years ago were able to speak. A new discovery of two hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain) indicates that the predecessor of the Neanderthal, Homo Heidelbergensis, was also capable of speech. The researchers conclude that "Modern hyoid morphology was present by at least 530 kya [thousands of years ago] and appears to represent a shared derived feature of the modern human and Neandertal evolutionary lineages inherited from their last common ancestor."
Once language got started, pre-humans could coordinate their activities and argue about religion and politics, just like we do today.
 Martínez I, Arsuaga JL, Quam R, Carretero JM, Gracia A, Rodríguez L, Human hyoid bones from the middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain), Journal of Human Evolution, 2008, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 118-124. PMID: 17804038
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