Timeline Story

Hyoid Bone: Speach Emerges

Hyoid Bone: Speach Emerges

When: 700,000 BCE
Note: 700,000 BCE to 200,000 BCE
From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -700000
Post Date: 06/27/0000

Around 700,000 years ago, the development of a human-like hyoid bone suggests early hominins may have begun transitioning from simple vocalizations to more structured speech.

"<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/133115863@N08/18439175894" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">88 - Neck muscles, with mandible, hyoid bone, clavicles and laryngeal cartilages2</a>" by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/133115863@N08" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Knowledge Collector</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CC PDM 1.0</a>
Hyoid bone location.

This period marks a critical evolutionary point for Homo heidelbergensis, whose anatomical adaptations for speech, coupled with advanced tool use and complex social structures, indicate possible use of rudimentary language. Earlier hominins like Homo erectus also showed signs of vocal communication, but whether this included structured language remains uncertain. This era highlights the beginnings of speech, setting the stage for the sophisticated linguistic capabilities of later hominins. 

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