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Control Of Fire By Early Humans

Control Of Fire By Early Humans


A turning point in human history was when humans took control of fire, giving space to warmth, light and protection. It can be said as a breakthrough in technology too. It paved cultural advances: innovation, dietary changes and behavioural changes.


1. The earliest evidence of humans controlling fire dates back 1.7 million years to 2 million years.

2.  According to several studies, Homo erectus took control of fire some 1,000,000 years ago by leaving behind microscopic traces of wood ash.

3. Morocco found blades of burnt quartz from fires approximately 300,000 years ago. That, with fossils of Homo sapiens, a kind of early man.

4. Early modern humans used fire regularly and consistently to heat treat silcrete stone to make it more flakes-able for crafting tools approximately 164,000 years ago at the South African site of Pinnacle Point.

5.     The widespread control of fire by humans that are modern in terms of anatomy roughly dates back to 125,000 years ago.

6. The control of fire evolved in multiple stages. Changing habitat from dense forest, where wildfires were frequent, to Savanna (grassland with some wood,) where wildfires were more intense, had been one factor.

7. As a result of a wildfire, animals adapted to the burned environment and began foraging.

8. In the wake of a recent fire on the Savanna, African chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, and various birds forage more frequently in grass fire-scarred areas.

9. The residual hot spots that remain after a wildfire should be used by humans. Wildfires, for example, often leave food burned or undercooked.

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10. If there were dangers of burns, this might have provided incentives to place undercooked food on a hotspot or quickly pull it from the fire if it was in jeopardy. However, this requires familiarity with fire and its behaviour.

11.   Fire could have been controlled early by transporting it from burned to unburned areas and setting them ablaze, providing advantages to food acquisition.

12.The development of campsites might be due to maintenance of fire over an extended period, as during the dry season. Hearths and other fire enclosures, such as stone circles, were added later.

13.Making fire generally requires the use of a friction device with hardwood rubbing against softwood (such as a bow drill). This is how the control of fire happened.


From occasional to habitual to a necessity, the experience is different at different intensities. Hominids had large premolars before they took control of fire, which allowed them to chew hard foods, such as seeds. Additionally, the shape of the molar cusps suggests that the diet is more leaf- or fruit-based.

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