Did Homo Sapiens Use Fire to Cook Food Over 1 Million Years Ago?

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Steely Dan, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/201...nd-signs-of-ancient-man-made-fire/?hpt=hp_bn1

    April 2nd, 2012
    03:00 PM ET

    Scientists find signs of ancient man-made fire

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    Scientists have uncovered remnants of an ancient fire, at least 1 million years old, at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.

    You may be clueless about how to start a fire in the wilderness without matches or a lighter, but our ancestors may have figured it out long ago.

    Scientists have uncovered evidence that humans used fire at least 1 million years ago, potentially for cooking purposes. The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Michael Chazan of the University of Toronto led an investigation into the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. The team found burned bones and ash plant material, including grasses, leaves and twigs. The bones originated from a variety of animals: small rodents, antelopes and horselike mammals....
     
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  3. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

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    This article says that "Prior to the new findings, scientists had good evidence that humans had total control over fire at least 400,000 years ago." However, there is a well-studied site in Israel with evidence for controlled use of fire dated to about 790,000 years ago. This new South African site pushes the date of fire use by pre-human ancestors (Homo erectus) back about 200,000 years.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4863378...s-trace-ancient-signs-fires-use/#.T3xLOPDXEUU
     
  4. IHAVENOCLUE

    IHAVENOCLUE Active Member

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    I thought they used microwaves like everyone else?:waitasec:
     
  5. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    I think they employed fire that long ago, whether or not it was to cook their food is the real question. As cave dwellers, of course they used fire for light and warmth... I'm certain as long as tools have been used, fire too.

    Makes me wonder, though, if the bones of animals found weren't near the fire to simply destroy the garbage of eating-- it wouldn't be prudent to leave scraps around the home site to attract other scavengers. But seriously, it's logical to think that a bone thrown into the fire prematurely might get fetched back out by a disgruntled elder and eaten until it was properly finished (like every other family dinner occurrence, lol). So... yeah, I don't think it would take a 100,000 years between using fire and cooking meat. Nope, probably not even a full year.

    So, I say YES, they cooked their food a million years ago, and maybe even close to 2 million years ago (tools being employed at about 1.8-2.2 million years ago-- as it stands today, per this wiki page).

    Homo erectus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think we're in another big era of discovery... between DNA sequencing and our ability to access very remote edges of the earth, I think we're set to learn more and more about those who came before us.

    Hey, and there's nothing like a million years of existence to put your personal problems into perspective, imo. :)
     
  6. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    Does anyone else besides me wonder what future archeologists will think when thousands of years from now, they start digging around in the remains of our houses and garbage dumps?
     
  7. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    You're assuming we don't destroy ourselves before then. JMO
     
  8. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    Did they use fire to cook? Sure, on the nights when they didn't call out for pizza or Chinese. :D
     
  9. IHAVENOCLUE

    IHAVENOCLUE Active Member

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    I have thought of,that, too!
    they'll probably think that the graffiti on buildings, walls, etc. are religious, sacred praises to our deities!
     
  10. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    When they find remains in garbage dumps they will believe that we didn't do burial rites or something.
     
  11. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    I prefer to believe that thousands of years from now that my future relatives will have those giant heads/big brains and withered bodies and endless life spans. And that they will look at pictures of the the ancient remains and civilizations (ours) as being so primitive that they cannot imagine actually doing phyical labor, walking instead of flying with individual flying units. A future where everything is always done with the brain.
     
  12. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

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    So far there is just no evidence for fire being used by hominids as far back as tool-making (about 2 million years ago, Homo habilis). There are no examples of ash pits found in association with the tools or fossils of that time. But no evidence does not mean that it wasn't happening and perhaps some day someone will make a discovery that will push the date back another 1 million years.
     
  13. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    Well, yeah-- it's all deeply buried beneath???? what? But, caves give us provocative access and singular examples in which to draw inferences, but little else. Oh, but I DO love a cave!


    As for our own refuge-- omg, mountains of it, canyons full, oceanic trenches bearing tribute to our broken plastics and God only knows what else. But the thing that bothers me the most (maybe because I know how much can be learned from them) are the forever bundles of plastic wrapped poopy "disposable" diapers!! (baby and adult!) They'll wonder what on earth was wrong with us that we didn't know poop was biodegradable, and figure it out so quickly-- we were brain damaged by the stupid adulterated food we ate (and saved)!! :blushing:
     
  14. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    I think they'll also find a lot of still edible twinkies.
     

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