Tuesday, 3 May 2011

People used fire more than 300,000 years

People began to regularly lodge fire about 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, the survey found that results today in Washington.

Summary of findings from 141 archaeological sites in Europe shows that the regular maintenance of fire began at this time, write the scientists from the Netherlands and the United States in the academic journal of the Academy of Sciences.

As noted agency Associated Press, says that people are mastered fire much earlier than indicated by this research.

Most archaeologists agree that fire is associated with the spread of the human species out of Africa, especially in Europe, where temperatures drop below zero.

But, although there is evidence that the ancestors of modern humans lived in Europe before about a million years, the oldest traces of regular use of fire are about 400,000 years ago, they said.

Neanderthals and modern humans who inhabited Europe have since regularly used fire for heating, cooking and lighting. Taking into account the harsh climate, there are scientists considered "clear but surprising.

These findings raise the question of how people manage to survive the cold without the fire, said agency Associated Press.

Scientists believe that the intense physical activity and foods rich in protein, enabled people to adapt to extreme climate. Added to the well-documented that the hunter-gatherers ate raw meat and fish.

Evidence of regular use of fire more than 400,000 years were found at one site in Israel, while in some localities in Africa revealed occasional fires.

Harvard archaeologist Richard W. Vrang, however, claims that mastering the art of preparing food, and about two million years, improve nutrition and contribute to the development of the brain, enabling the emergence of modern humans.

Vrang believes that the lack of so many old evidence means that the burnt bones and ashes have been destroyed or developed, the authors of the research challenge, since, according to them, in a cave in South Africa found burnt bones.

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