Neanderthals Wielded Fire to Make Digging Sticks 170,000 Years Ago In Italy

PNAS published a new paper documenting Neanderthals wielded fire to shape wooden tools as early as 171,000 years ago. The tools, or digging sticks, are still in use today. They are useful for digging up roots and tubers. They are also useful in hunting animals in burrows or pounding and grinding herbs. They way they... Continue Reading →

Scientists from Leiden University and Delft University of Technology conducted compositional sediment analyses of a 50,000 year old Neanderthal site, Pech-de-l'Azé I in Dordogne in southwest France. Their results are published here.  They found these guys were deliberately selecting manganese dioxide to start fires, not for coloring. We do not know based off of the... Continue Reading →

Evolution by Fire

For many years, the use of fire has been central to the discussion of human evolution. When was fire first controlled, and when was it first actually made by man? These are questions that rise again and again, but with scant early proof. Recently in the online journal Fire Ecology, an environmental scientist discusses what... Continue Reading →

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