Humans have spoken longer than we realized.

New research suggests humans first spoke prehistorically.

According to British archaeologist Steven Mithen, early humans developed basic language in eastern or southern Africa 1.6 million years ago.

Humanity's ability to speak was the key to much of its physical and cultural growth. 

It's crucial to date the origins of language, said Dr. Mithen, a Reading University early prehistory professor.

Most human evolution scientists believed humans began speaking 200,000 years ago until recently.

New research from Professor Mithen published this month reveals that basic human language is eight times older. 

He examined all archaeological, paleo-anatomical, genetic, neurological, and linguistic evidence for his analysis.

All the evidence implies that language was born between two and 1.5 million years ago as part of human evolution and other processes.

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