Early homo erectus millions of years ago, humans began to use fire: 790000 years ago (FIG.)

mong dweck excavation of the cave area

2 April issue of proceedings of the national academy of sciences published scientists in South Africa will flourish dweck cave sites of sediment latest analysis results. Studies have shown that the earliest human control and use of fire time not thought 790000 years ago, but can be traced back to early 1 million years ago.

mong dweck (Afrikaans for & other; Miracle & throughout;) Is on the edge of the central and southern Africa’s kalahari desert a cave, cave in 2 million after a long time accumulation of sediment is 7 meters thick, different sediments reflects the well water, wind, and the influence of animals, birds and human activities, these natural sedimentation on research from the Stone Age to the present human and environmental history is of great significance. Flourishing dweck cave sites found by accident, in the 1940 s, local farmers to dig holes is rich in organic matter in sediments make fertilizer to sell, in the process of the excavation sediments have found bones, this report has attracted the attention of archeologists. So, since then, archaeologists began to ongoing excavations cave sites.

30 m of scientists to cave sites in recent 1 million – year – old excavation of sediments, found the charred grass, leaves, shrubs, and bone fragments of ash. Among them a small amount of ash is preserved, and ashes of a jagged rim, suggesting that they are not burning in other places, by water or wind in here after that ashes serrated edge will wear off in this process. Burning ash discovered the earliest can be traced back to 1.5 million – year – old & ndash; Swat crowns sites in South Africa 1 million years ago, and 800000 Israel & ndash; 700000 years ago, cover up & middot; Mr Nott & middot; Jacob sites, but these two sites are located in the exposure of the environment, do not rule out the possibility of ashes is ignited by the lightning. However in the flourishing dweck cave is impossible to happen. This, according to archaeological discoveries in homo erectus (about 1.8 million & ndash; Early in 200000), human ancestors began to use fire.

control use of fire is the earliest in the process of human evolution of technology and society, the most important invention. Impact on human life is full of fire, the fire, the human ancestors can produce light and heat, heating and dispel the beast; With fire, man can cook plants and animals to eat cooked food, improve the health of the human; In addition, the human also can use empty to farming, forest fire pottery tools, such as, so to speak, to control the fire is a turning point in human evolution.