Ancient humans use fire for cooking earlier than previously believed

Apr 3, 2012

New findings suggest that ancient humans were using fire a million years ago for cooking. That is about 300,000 years earlier than previously believed. Researchers made the discovery after finding traces of ash alongside animal bones and stone tools in the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.

This cave as a very long history of human occupation. Prior to the researchers discovering evidence of fire used for cooking, it was believed that early humans had only started using fire to cooking 800,000 years ago. Evidence of the fire showing charred bones and ashes from burn plant material was discovered in the cave.

The material is believed to have been used locally rather than carried into the cave by wind or water. The ash was discovered 100 feet inside the cave and there was evidence of surface discoloration that would be expected after something was burned.

[via TG Daily]

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