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"Neanderthals made fire" Topic

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420 hits since 8 Oct 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2018 9:59 p.m. PST

"It's long been known that Neanderthals used and controlled fire, but there was no archaeological evidence of them being able to make fire. Fire can be harvested from the wild by carrying a branch set alight by a lightning strike, for example and even maintained with some care and luck. Evidence of the use of fire, therefore, does not assume the ability to produce a flame on demand.

Prehistoric modern humans in the Upper Palaeolithic created fire by striking sharp flints against pyrite, an iron sulfide mineral. The strike casts sparks which ignite a bed of tinder material and boom goes the dynamite. This ability to make fire on demand radically changed humanity's relationship with the world, creating liveable environments out of frigid ones, making previously inedible foods not just edible but tasty and nutritious and establishing the hearth as a core of community.

Determining when hominids first gained their Promethean skills is thus of pivotal significance in our understanding of the development of human ancestors' culture, lifestyle and physical form. University of Leiden archaeologist Andrew Sorensen has been researching this issue since 2014, studying fire residues like charcoal and ash and fire-heated stone and bone materials from Neanderthal sites and comparing them to similar remains from modern human sites…."
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