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Humans mastered fire 350,000 years ago

Flint tools and debris found in Tabun Cave in Israel suggests that humans mastered fire 350,000 years ago. In layers older than roughly 350,000 years, almost none of the flints are burned. But in every layer after that, many flints show signs of exposure to fire: red or black coloration, cracking,

Peking Man used fire

New evidence found in China concludes that Peking Man was able to control and use fire 770,000 years ago. Recent age determinations for the Zhoukoudian sequence have shown that Homo erectus pekinensis seems to have first occupied Locality 1 some 770,000 years ago, when climatic conditions in North China were relatively

Stone Age hunter-gatherers used fire to shape environment

Fossils from the Stone Age found in the Severn Esturary in England suggests that early hunter-gatherers were using fire to shape their environment before agriculture started. The researchers have visited the site for the past two summers. On their most recent trip they found charcoal and hazelnut shells. They believe this indicates

Which hominid mastered fire?

The archaeological debate about which hominid invented fire is heating up. Richard Wrangham, an anthropologist at Harvard, claims that hominids became people—that is, acquired traits like big brains and dainty jaws—by mastering fire. He places this development at about 1.8 million years ago. This is an appealing premise no matter who

The world’s first “matches”

Archaeologists are claiming that mysterious clay and stone artifacts found in Israel may have been used to start fires. "We have fire evidence in modern humans and Neanderthals, from charcoal, ashes and hearths, but there was nothing ever found that was connected with how you ignite the fire," lead author Prof

Fire and war destroys ancient Peruvian society

Excavations of sites in Peru have revealed that war and a devastating fire ended the Taraco people. Their results suggest Pukara waged a violent war against Taraco, possibly killing hundreds with their weapons before burning the state to the ground. "In the century that Pukara peaked, the site of Taraco was attacked,

Partying teens damage Megalithic tomb

An ancient megalitich burial chamber in the Netherlands has been damaged by a fire, possibily started by teenagers having a party. The ancient burial chamber or hunebed on the Groningerweg in Diever in Drenthe has been damaged by fire, with the heat causing one of the massive stones to crack and

Early Europeans survived European cold without fire

New research is challenging the assumption that humans had mastered fire before coming to Europe. Wil Roebroeks at Leiden University in the Netherlands and Paola Villa at the University of Colorado Museum in Boulder, searched the European archaeological record for fires and found that the earliest possible evidence comes from two

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