Fire was used for cooking as early as 780,000 years ago – research

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 Fire was used for cooking as early as 780,000 years ago – research

Archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Bar Ilan University have found evidence that fire was used for cooking before 780,000 years ago. A study published in the scientific journal Nature Ecology and Evolution analyzes fish remains found at the archaeological site of Gesher Benot Yaakov in Israel.

By studying the structure of the crystals that form the enamel in fish teeth, the researchers were able to prove that the fish was exposed to a temperature suitable for cooking, and not just burned in a fire.

“This study demonstrates the great importance of fish in the lives of prehistoric people for their diet”, – say researchers from the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at TAU ​​Dr. Irit Zohar and Dr. Marion Prevost from the Institute of Archeology at the Hebrew University.

Archaeologists believe that the fish was cooked approximately 780,000 years ago. Prior to this discovery, the earliest recorded evidence of the use of fire for cooking was approximately 200,000 years ago.

“The large number of fish remains found at this site prove their frequent consumption by ancient people. The finds illustrate the ability of prehistoric people to control fire for cooking, as well as their understanding of the benefits of cooking fish over eating”, – Zohar and Prevost said.

The scientific team believes that the location of the freshwater regions determined the route of early man's migration from Africa to the Levant and beyond. These habitats not only provided drinking water and attracted animals to the area, but also provided an abundance of nutritious, easily obtainable food. provides additional funds for the optimal use of available food resources”, – states the director of the excavations and professor of the Hebrew University Naama Goren-Inbar.

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