The reason I brought this topic up, actually, is because I am ever astonished by the mentality of researchers who work on the presumption that ancient humans must have been stupid until they lived in cities - and even then, without mod cons, ancients in cities cannot have lived a particularly intelligent life.
Neanderthals have had a hard time of it ever since Victorian era mockery, but this mindset of assuming stupidity carries through into the ancient world.
One of the key successes of humanity has always been its great resourcefulness. How astonishing that we treat the past as if this trait is simply and only a modern phenomenon.
They could not have been all that stupid if they were supposedly our predecessors. If we are to have evolved from them, that implies a certain amount of intelligence and creativity, not to mention curiosity.
Admittedly, consciousness is a mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon.
But as the human experience is very much based on emotions, I find it so incredible that other mammal emotions are treated as nothing but primitive biological reflexes which have nothing to do with a state of sentience. There's something terribly demeaning and arrogant towards out entire modern approach to intelligence and consciousness.