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Playing with Fire Volume 57 Number 4, July/August 2004

Hominids were controlling fire much earlier than previously thought, according to recent analysis of burnt flint and wood from a major prehistoric site in northern Israel. Scientists studying sediments from Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, which lies along the main path early humans took out of Africa, found remains concentrated at specific locations on the 790,000-year-old site, indicating that fires were intentionally lit and then controlled. Until now, the most widely accepted material evidence for hominid controlled fires comes from 250,000-year-old hearths.

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© 2004 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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