Neanderthal humans may have been capable of modern speech, according to archaeologist Baruch Arensberg from Tel Aviv, who discovered the small hyoid bone (in circle), which anchors the tongue muscles.
When National Geographic asked me to paint a small illustration of a Neanderthal father telling a story to his son, the art director emphasized that he should look recognizable, “like a guy who stepped off the subway.” Only the heavy brow ridge should give him away.
Where to find a model? I racked my brain for who would fit the part. One guy I knew named Jim would be ideal. But how should I ask him to pose? “Hey, Jim, would you mind posing for a Neanderthal picture I’m doing?” I was afraid he might be insulted.
I managed to ask him, and he cooperated. Later I asked him if he minded being a cave man. “Not at all,” he replied with a smile. “My girlfriend says it gives me more sex appeal.”