A great deal of research is going on all the time. At any moment – at any moment - someone might come up with a discovery which blows the principle behind SONG HUNTER clear out of the water.
And sure enough...
The thing is, a shell has been found in Spain. It does genuinely seem to have been used to mix up pigments, and it genuinely does have a hole in it as if for a pendant.
So, can this be a sign that the Neanderthals had art after all?
Well, yes, it can, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it must. Even if the hole was made on purpose then it might have been used to make carrying the shell easier, rather than as a decoration (my measuring spoons are tied together, for instance, but I don’t wear them to parties).
As for the pigment (by which is meant ground-up rock or crumbled clay), yes this can be, and is still, used for painting; but it makes rather a good anti-insect coating for hides, too.
But I’m still on tenterhooks, here, you know.