An Israel cave reveals history of fire use by humans. A recent study that examined flint debris discovered in an Israel cave shows that human beings started using fire frequently only around 350,000 to 320,000 years ago in the Middle Pleistocene era. The recent research sustains the evidence of the first discovery of fire by human beings one million years ago.
A team of scientists led by Ron Shimelmitz of the University of Haifa examined flints or tools made out of stone and their debris from deposits on rocks inside the Tabun Cave on the limestone cliffs in Mount Carmen, Israel.
Researchers stated that the cave was populated by humans for at least a period of 500,000 years. The discoveries made inside the cave made it possible for the researchers to conduct a thorough examination on the evolution of fire use.
About 82 feet in the sand, clay and silt supplied crucial clues in the dating of the human habitation found in levels inside the cave.
Different levels uncovered flints with various levels of fire exposure. However, the levels that were oldest did not appear burnt or scorched. Newer layers were black or red in color and were chipped by circular burns.
The discoveries made by the scientists showed that the regularity of the flint burns transpired 320,000 years ago to 350,000 years ago.
Early human beings began using fire when they noticed the advantages of using the fire in order to cook their food and as a kick off point for interactions and social gatherings, Ron Shimelmitz said.
The usage of fire quickly became an opportunity from just a mere discovery and a habitual use from just an occasional use. In this day and age it is an unavoidable part of modern life. However, its origins and discovery still remain unknown.
Not only the fire was indispensable in social contexts and food preparation, but it also played a crucial role in the evolution of the greater human brain. Considering that early humans knew how to control and create fire, this contributed to the early migration of humans into climates that were a lot colder.
The findings from Tabun Cave in Israel and other sites nearby provide “a density of coverage in time and space that is currently unavailable elsewhere”, wrote Shimelmitz and his team.