Humanity’s First Fire?

The invention of fire is rightly viewed as one of humanity’s greatest achievements. But when was the first fire built?

When was the first fire built?

When was the first fire built?
Description: Great Fire of Salem, March 9, 1697
Attribution: Andreas Brugger
Source: Wikimedia Commons

When was the First Fire Built?

It’s probably impossible to determine the date of the first fire. But if a new study conducted by paleolithic archaeologist Michael Chazan is correct, the first fire may predate modern man…by some 800,000 years. Here’s more on the first fire from Live Science:

Ash and charred bone, the earliest known evidence of controlled use of fire, reveal that human ancestors may have used fire a million years ago, a discovery that researchers say will shed light on this major turning point in human evolution.

Scientists analyzed material from Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa, a massive cavern located near the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Previous excavations there had uncovered an extensive record of human occupation.

Microscopic analysis revealed clear evidence of burning, such as plant ash and charred bone fragments. These materials were apparently burned in the cave, as opposed to being carried in there by wind or water, and were found alongside stone tools in a layer dating back about 1 million years…

(See Live Science for more on the first fire)

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