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Earliest evidence of man-made fire

Posted on Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 | Comment icon 14 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 3.0 Frank Vincentz

Our ancestors may have been using fire for cooking and warmth as far back as one million years ago.

Materials retrieved from Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa are believed to represent the earliest known examples of fire as a tool with evidence of plant ash and charred bone fragments. While modern humans did not appear until somewhere around 200,000 years ago, other species of human were around for a long time before that, including Homo Erectus, a species of upright-walking primate that would have lived as far back as 1.9 million years ago.

"Socializing around a campfire might actually be an essential aspect of what makes us human," said archaeologist Michael Chazan. "The control of fire would have been a major turning point in human evolution."

"Ash and charred bone, the earliest known evidence of controlled use of fire, reveal that human ancestors may have used fire a million years ago, a discovery that researchers say will shed light on this major turning point in human evolution."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (14)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by GirlfromOz on 4 April, 2012, 12:26
PS Sorry about the double-up.I pressed enter twice.Oh,& I am not an ape LOL
Comment icon #6 Posted by seller2006 on 4 April, 2012, 14:23
convetional history states we were making cave paintings as cave men 10 thousands yrs ago, when they are found structures up to 32 thousand bc -.-, it makes no sense, if they push back the times, many things will change in our understanding of our selves, and identity and i think that is wthey refrain from speaking the truth about us.
Comment icon #7 Posted by BrandOfAmber on 4 April, 2012, 17:25
@GirlFromOz, according to your genetic code, you are indeed an ape. A great ape to be precise, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Seriously, I know some silverbacked gorillas I'd rather hang with than humans who would deny their own genetic heritage... Be proud of what you are. - Brand
Comment icon #8 Posted by RightInTheStatisticals on 4 April, 2012, 17:51
Did you mean 23K years ago ( )? That is some wall in a cave humans built to keep out the cold. I can't find anything ealier than that that has been confirmed. Who has ever claimed mankind is inferior, even back then? Our brains have may have developed a a tiny bit since then, but the general package was there around the 'cave man' era. The theory of evolution has been disproven? Really .. when did this happen?
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin on 4 April, 2012, 19:47
It didn't happen. Sounds more like an opinion than fact.
Comment icon #10 Posted by DieChecker on 5 April, 2012, 0:11
Very cool. It is easy to hypothisize then that Modern Humans, Homo Sapiens Sapiens, evolved from earlier forms and that fire was always present during that time 200,000 years ago.
Comment icon #11 Posted by GirlfromOz on 5 April, 2012, 8:47
Dear BrandofAmber.Wouldn't you think that instead of saying that humans were an offshoot of apes,that it was the other way around??!The theory is that apes were an offshoot of humans!!Maybe close but not the full deal.Let's all get the story right! OK?!
Comment icon #12 Posted by RightInTheStatisticals on 5 April, 2012, 19:16
Well, technically Humans and apes are both offshoots of another common ancestor species. To say one is an offshoot of the other is incorrect.
Comment icon #13 Posted by daavin on 7 April, 2012, 17:23
Yup it's like saying a turkey came from a chicken they share a common ancestor one off chute becoming a chicken and one becoming a turkey, same for humans and apes.
Comment icon #14 Posted by lightly on 8 April, 2012, 18:29
It's comforting to hear that we've always had fire.. some ideas are persistent! Home is where the Hearth is.

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