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Keeping the home fires burning

According to a fairly recent article in PNAS human ancestors were using fire as long ago as one million years. Quoting the abstract of the article, "Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa," on the PNAS site:

The ability to control fire was a crucial turning point in human evolution, but the question when hominins first developed this ability still remains. Here we show that micromorphological and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (mFTIR) analyses of intact sediments at the site of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa, provide unambiguous evidence—in the form of burned bone and ashed plant remains—that burning took place in the cave during the early Acheulean occupation, approximately 1.0 Ma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest secure evidence for burning in an archaeological context.

There have been many other reports going back a half million years or more in the litterature so yes, I'm fairly sure humans were capable of building a fire during the Eemian interglacial. No SUVs or private jets though.


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