Category Archives: Control of fire

When humans were prey for hyenas

Human ancestors had rudimentary control of fire some 1.5 – 2 million years ago, and that was the single event that led to the inevitable journey to becoming the dominant species. But though fire made dominance inevitable, it was a slow process. A new paper shows that tooth marks on the bones of a 500,000 year old hominin were caused by a large carnivore and indicating that the hominin had been consumed. Continue reading

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Controlled use of fire in a hearth from 300,000 years ago

But this evidence from the Qesem Cave does show that by 300,000 years ago, the regular and controlled use of fire in a hearth, within a cave, had been well established. But what is even more interesting is that by 400,000 years ago, humans were allocating different areas of the cave for different “household activities”. It is also quite likely therefore that particular individuals were also specialising in particular activities. The first specialised “chefs”, toolmakers, leather craftsmen and perhaps even hunters or hunt leaders may date from this time. Continue reading

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