I have recently been reading about Neanderthals who apparently buried their dead, cared for their sick, hunted with fairly sophisticated tools, made fire, made an instrument out of a bone (this is disputed), and certainly had the physical capacity for language (also much debated - hyoid bone etc).
Can they be called "human" for want of a better word? Is language the key in defining us and them? Clearly they are a far cry from chimps so what criteria should we use? It is impossible to establish their thoughts but there was compassion and empathy surely at our level if they cared for their sick - one old skeleton with no teeth lived to an age which would have been impossible without him being "spoonfed". Does this imply a moral sense? From reconstructions they looked almost identical to us.
So what, if anything, would set us apart?