Aleš Hrdlička's hypothesis on a Neandertal phase of human evolution is examined in light of current data and interpretations on Neandertals. Hrdlička's interpretations are related to his ideas regarding the peopling of the New World. A major early statement of Hrdlička's views on Neandertal was his Huxley Memorial Lecture of 1927. We assess this formulation and subsequent development of his hypothesis. Hrdlička's position is compared with the “presapiens” and “pre-neandertal” hypotheses on the basis of current theory and data.