Million-year-old ash hints at origins of cooking

Ash found in a South African cave hints that humans were cooking with fire one million years ago.

The discovery is the earliest evidence yet found for use of this revolutionary technology, say the researchers behind the finding. But some experts caution that more proof is needed before we conclude that humans were cooking regularly at this date.

It is not possible to say for certain which species of hominin inhabited the cave one million years ago, but the team believes it was probably Homo erectus.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A million years. It boggles the mind to think of how much history happened that is lost to memory. Around 70,000 years ago the human population shrank to less than 15,000 individuals following the Toba supervolcano. We know that a great cataclysm happened 12,000 years ago when an asteroid struck somewhere in the north American area, wiping out the Clovis people and large fauna. Given how fast human civilization and culture has developed since the last great asteroid strike, it seems difficult to accept that similar progress did not happen in earlier times, with subsequent ice ages grinding all traces of those earlier civilizations to dust.

Comments

Mike, I have often thought of

homefiresburning

Mike, I have often thought of that idea too.

It is not inconceiveable that half a million years ago, or more, some civilization, in isolation, rose to technological or societal greatness unseen since, lived for thousands of years, died out and then was COMPLETELY erased from the earth, forever.

This could have feasibly happened many time over.

When you consider...

otred

the universe, there may be a star in the sky for each civilization that has reached a certain technological level, then destroyed itself.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA