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Humans Made Fire 790,000 Years Ago

November 4, 2008
Wow. With the same tools they had back then, how many of us could even start a fire today? Way to go, ancient humans!
clipped from www.reuters.com

Humans made fire 790,000 years ago: study

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A new study shows that humans had the ability to make fire nearly 790,000 years ago, a skill that helped them migrate from Africa to Europe.

By analyzing flints at an archaeological site on the bank of the river Jordan, researchers at Israel’s Hebrew University discovered that early civilizations had learned to light fires, a turning point that allowed them to venture into unknown lands.

A previous study of the site published in 2004 showed that man had been able to control fire — for example transferring it by means of burning branches — in that early time period. But researchers now say that ancient man could actually start fire, rather than relying on natural phenomena such as lightning.

“The new data shows there was a continued, controlled use of fire through many civilizations and that they were not dependent on natural fires,” archaeologist Nira Alperson-Afil said on Sunday.

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