Title

Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa

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Publication Date

January 2012

Abstract

The ability to control fire was a crucial turning point in human evolution, but the question when hominins first developed this ability still remains. Here we show that micromorphological and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (mFTIR) analyses of intact sediments at the site of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa, provide unambiguous evidence—in the form of burned bone and ashed plant remains—that burning took place in the cave during the early Acheulean occupation, approximately 1.0 Ma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest secure evidence for burning in an archaeological context.

Notes

PNAS, Vol. 109, no. 20 (2012).

Keywords

Micromorphology, Cooking Hypothesis, Homo Erectus

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RDA

Subject: topical

Micromorphology; Cooking Hypothesis; Homo Erectus

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Article

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serial

Identifier

SFS0071755_00001

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