Neanderthals used fire in caves: French cave sheds new light on the...

Posted: 01 Jun 2016 05:39 AM PDT

Deep inside Bruniquel Cave, in the Tarn et Garonne region of southwestern France, a set of human-made structures 336 meters from the entrance was recently dated as being approximately 176,500 years old. This discovery indicates that humans began occupying caves much earlier than previously thought: until now the oldest formally proven cave use dated back only 38,000 years (Chauvet). It also ranks the Bruniquel structures among the very first in human history. In addition, traces of fire show that the early Neanderthals, well before Homo sapiens, knew how to use fire to circulate in enclosed spaces far from daylight.

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I think it's not surprising, as Neanderthals were the sister species to Homo sapiens, and our parent species, Homo heidelbergensis, used fire in a controlled way from 400,000 years ago. 

Interesting article  JBO its fantastic they can date things so effectively.

But none it can be true, Cos the earth is only six thousand years old. Don't ya know.

The building of the structures was actually the bigger news.

To say there was fire in a cave (only one, so far, right?) is one thing. To jump to the conclusion the fire was being used and what it was being used for seems a wee bit unscientific.

There was a cave. Was it used daily? Was it used for a purpose? Did they know how to make fire or did they bring it in after, say, a lightning strike or forest/field fire.

Who knows?

Cooking and other functions were evidenced, etc.  IE: It was not "A fire in a cave" was the use of fire...and some specifics are mentioned in the full article, such as for cooking.


Neanderthals were very similar to us in intelligence it seems...they had art, jewelry, burial rituals, knew how to make fire, etc, had larger brains than homo sapiens, and were not merely less hirsute apes.


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