Human evolution; sapiens and Neanderthals controlled fire (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 27, 2019, 16:05 (161 days ago) @ David Turell

Both types learned to control fire:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191025101345.htm

"Now, a team of University of Connecticut researchers, working with colleagues from Armenia, the U.K., and Spain, has found compelling evidence that early humans such as Neanderthals not only controlled fire, but also mastered the ability to generate it.

"'Fire was presumed to be the domain of Homo sapiens but now we know that other ancient humans like Neanderthals could create it," says co-author Daniel Adler, associate professor in anthropology. "So perhaps we are not so special after all."

***

"Using specific fire-related molecules deposited in the archaeological record and an analysis of climatological clues, the researchers examined Lusakert Cave 1 in the Armenian Highlands.

"'Fire starting is a skill that has to be learned -- I never saw anyone who managed to produce fire without first being taught. So the assumption that someone has the capability to set fire at will is a source of debate," says Gideon Hartman, associate professor of anthropology, and study co-author.

***

"'In order to routinely access naturally caused fires, there would need to have been conditions that would produce lighting strikes at a relative frequency that could have ignited wildfires," says Hren.

"By pairing the climate data with the evidence found in the archaeological record, the researchers then determined the cave's inhabitants were not living in drier, wildfire-prone conditions while they were utilizing fires within the cave.

"In fact, there were fewer wildfires for these ancient humans to harvest at the time when fire frequency and heavy PAH frequency was high in the cave, says Brittingham.

"'It seems they were able to control fire outside of the natural availability of wildfires," says Brittingham."

Comment: another nail in the coffin of the dumb-type Neanderthal.


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