Stone Age Combustion: Fire Use Proposed at Ancient Israeli Site

By Bower, B. | Science News, May 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

Stone Age Combustion: Fire Use Proposed at Ancient Israeli Site


Bower, B., Science News


Our prehistoric ancestors may have been a fiery bunch. By about 750,000 years ago, the inhabitants of a lakeshore in what is now northern Israel had learned to build fires in hearths, a research team contends.

For the next 100,000 years, Stone Age folk who frequented the Middle Eastern site used hearths for what must have been a variety of purposes, including staying warm, fending off predators, and cooking meat, according to archaeologist Naama Goren-Inbar of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and her colleagues.

They describe their findings in the April 30 Science.

"This is the oldest evidence for the controlled use of fire in Asia and Europe," Goren-Inbar says.

Goren-Inbar's team unearthed more than a dozen clusters of scorched flint artifacts at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov. They mark where hearths were located, she proposes. Investigators also found burned seeds and bits of charred wood near the flint remains.

These finds lay just above a layer of rock that contains evidence of a reversal of Earth's magnetic field that happened 790,000 years ago. Animal bones in the artifact-bearing soil also informed Goren-Inbar's age estimate.

The Israeli researcher doubts that wildfires burned the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov material. Such conflagrations cover large areas, but only 2 percent of excavated flint and wood fragments show signs of fire. Underground wildfires, such as burning roots, don't get hot enough to scorch buried flint, she adds.

Fire making probably started more than 1 million years ago among groups of Homo erectus in Africa and possibly Asia, she says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Stone Age Combustion: Fire Use Proposed at Ancient Israeli Site
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.