omo Erectus was the first species that really evolved towards our Homo Sapiens form, this is because it was the first species from our ancestors that started to travel and populate the world. Not only that but most importantly, it was the first species that actually spoke a very ancient language. This allows us to state that not only was the first language born about one million years ago but also, that without language, the Homo Erectus species might have not evolved, which means that we might have not reached this late stage in the evolution chain.
Were we able to communicate 1 million years ago?
Of course, this hypothesis has been and is still being neglected by many researchers, however, we have discovered new evidence showing that, in fact, language could potentially be that old. Research from 2018 shows that the Homo Erectus species did not have the hyoid bone which would not allow the tongue to move, meaning that they had the ability to talk in a very primitive dialect.
This hypothesis has been pushed forward by Professor Daniel Everett from the Department of Advanced Science at Bentley University in Massachusetts. He described this theory based on seeing that the most natural technology that we behold as humans and which helps us to live our lives is the ability to communicate with one another. His hypothesis is turned down by many years of research stating that the Homo Erectus species was quite primitive, referring to not having the ability to communicate via a language even how primitive this may be.
The importance of the ability to communicate is seen as imperative for the evolution of the Homo Erectus species to the Homo Sapiens species (our closest ancestors). The reason for this is the need to actually communicate in order to work together to build primitive boats or to navigate the world to populate every part of it.
Migration through communication
History tells us that the Homo Erectus crossed not only Seas but also Oceans, and without the ability to communicate, such a long trip in flimsy ships would have been suicidal. In that day and age, they did not know about sails or such advanced naval technology, they only had a piece of wood that they would use as a paddle to row the boat, and in order to do this efficiently, they would have needed to communicate with each other to row the boat at the same time and in the same direction.
Professor Daniel Everett has also emphasized that the ability to communicate would not only be vital to their migration, but also to their adaptation into new continents that may have presented new threats such as different predatory animals or a new environment that was harmful. All of the points made by Professor Daniel Everett and other researchers that support his view seem to be very logical and plausible.
Due to the ancient age of the Homo Erectus species, it is very difficult to analyze this theory, however, with the information present about this species we can consider that language and communication itself (no matter how primitive it may have been) did actually exist a lot earlier than we might have thought. The only problem this hypothesis brings is that it tries to make a lot of contemporary research obsolete, which is why many researchers from the scientific and historical fields do not want to accept it.