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When we invented fire, man's conquest of flame

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posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 10:54 AM
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Why was fire so important?

Man’s discovery of fire, or more exactly, the well-ordered use of fire was one of the our greatest human discoveries. Fire's purposes are multiple; some of which are to make light and to drive away wild animals to heat, to cook plants and animals, to clear forests for planting, to heat treat stone and wood for making stone tools and hardened wooden javelin and to heat clay for ceramic objects.



The three earliest sites for fire

The earliest evidence for controlled use of fire is at the Lower Paleolithic site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov in Israel, where charred wood and seeds were recovered from a site dated 790,000 years ago.

The earliest suspected use of fire


However not everyone is swayed by the evidence present for this site being the first. A more traditional site is

Zhoukoudian


The site where Peking Man was discovered contains multiple strata, dated between 700,000 and 130,000 years ago. The top 13 layers recovered over 40 Homo erectus individuals; over 100,000 artifacts including stone tools, plant and animal remains; and large hearth areas. Dates for the Homo erectus layers have been somewhat problematic over the years. Other occupations at Zhoukoudian include the Upper Cave, an important site dated between 18,000 and 11,000 years ago.




Image of the actual evidence in the stratigraphy showing use of fire




There is also another contender

Qesem cave


Hominid occupation of the cave has been documented in a 7.5-8 meter-thick layer of sediment, divided into an Upper Sequence (~4 meters thick) and a Lower Sequence (~3.5 meters thick). Both sequences are believed to be associated with the Acheulo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC), which in the Levant is transitional between the Acheulean period of the late Lower Paleolithic and the Mousterian of the early Middle Paleolithic.

edit on 14/2/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


what about Prometheus? Just kidding, but not really. Humans didn't create or discover fire. Fire is a product of nature:you know... fires from lightning. we just learned to harness it!!!


Interesting information though!



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


When 1 considers flame 1 has to keep inmind volcanic embers dropping causing fire-meteor causing fire, lightnng causing fire even natural explosive gasses igniting for some reason starting fries. For this I feel fire managment was a global effort in controlling, I dont htinkit started with 1 group tribe ect..



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Nice post, and there's still some conjecture when using fire can be distinguished from the technologies of creating it.

At the time of colonialism it seems like most peoples knew how to make fire, although there's some conjecture concerning the "negrito" tribes in Asia and Oceania.

It's believed that the first wave of immigrants from Africa were the ancestors of the negritos, who survived in very isolated pockets, although they largely mixed with later waves of human settlements.

The Tasmanians are considered to have been separated in the Ice Ages, and it's been argued that some did not know how to make fire, despite depending on its use. Others argued that they did know how to make fire with flints (rather than the friction method with wood), but that white settlement separated them from their source of fire-stones, and thus it appeared like they couldn't make fire, when anyone took any notice in their culture.

Fire changed a lot of the landscape, and controlled burning was practiced by tribal nations to encourage regeneration, open hunting grounds, and the prevention of runaway fires.
In fact, this well kept landscape was then stolen by European settlers and their livestock, and fire was at first used as a very effective method of warfare against the invaders.
In that sense simple fire can still be considered valuable in a SHTF or invasion situation.

I saw a recent documentary about East Africa, and it showed how tribal people were kicked out of the game reserves.
Soon the landscapes changed, and the animals wouldn't come back, and it was realized that far from destroying the game, traditional peoples kept the landscape in its savannah condition through controlled burning, which encouraged grazing for both cattle and wildlife.
So fire was vital in creating abundant and people-friendly areas.
edit on 14-2-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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Great post and interesting info!
Thanks for a well thought out thread. S&F!!


Originally posted by cointelprotroll
reply to post by Hanslune
 


what about Prometheus? Just kidding, but not really. Humans didn't create or discover fire. Fire is a product of nature:you know... fires from lightning. we just learned to harness it!!!


Interesting information though!


HAHA! I always thought fire was delivered to us when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush! Glad we got that straight!



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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Nice post! Something to keep in mind when considering the migratory routes of the earlier hominids out of Africa.

reply to post by Ophiuchus 13
 


I'm sure the OP refers to sites of continuous occupation and signs of regular fire use, think 'hearth fire', as opposed to 'found fire' from lightning.



edit on 14-2-2012 by Blackmarketeer because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 01:49 PM
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Hey, everyone! I've been lurking on this forum for a few weeks now and finally decided to create an account. This is my first post. (I had an interesting topic to post, but I guess I have to wait until I comment on enough threads). My name's Eric, pleased to meet you. Glad we got that out of the way!

Question before I say what I have to say.... I do have something to add to this, but I don't remember EXACTLY where I read this information. Is it alright if I contribute to a thread and don't cite my sources? Everyone here seems open minded enough to make their own conclusions, but I fear ridicule if I don't cite heavily like a scientific journal.

That being said, I'm under the suspicion that the hominid made fire at the end of the Pliocene, which is a helluva a lot earlier than what OP proposes. If they were able to shape bones and stones at that time, I'm pretty sure that they would have discovered fire too.



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 02:00 PM
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Perhaps the means of creating fire goes hand in hand with the use and production of flint tools.
A simple and natural observation.



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by midicon

Perhaps the means of creating fire goes hand in hand with the use and production of flint tools.
A simple and natural observation.


I have my doubts about that since there is something else besides flint needed to strike a spark; namely steel..

Per the OP I would suggest that perhaps fire also invoked the beginnings of religion as it was man's first sustained experience with something considered magical at the time. Those who learned to harness and create fire no doubt stood in high regard thus creating alternate avenues for social hierarchy besides hunting prowess.

Fire also made the social life of early man much richer by creating the hearth where all would gather to share the warmth and light. This gave them communal time in the evenings where speech was further refined and expanded and story telling became a nightly occurrence, reinforcing the theme of magic and possibly religious thought as well.

On the practical side fire made life easier, tools better, food sources more abundant and probably increased both the individual lifespan and the ability of the tribal group to care for more people - especially the old or infirm.

With fire as a tool mankind could now live in areas previously uninhabitable. This also led to semi-permanent encampments and quite likely the beginnings of the domestication of the dog who found that hanging around human communities had it's advantages.
edit on 14-2-2012 by Asktheanimals because: added comment



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by MConnalley
 


I don't get your reply?



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by ForbiddenHologram
reply to post by MConnalley
 


I don't get your reply?





That being said, I'm under the suspicion that the hominid made fire at the end of the Pliocene, which is a helluva a lot earlier than what OP proposes. If they were able to shape bones and stones at that time, I'm pretty sure that they would have discovered fire too.


The problem is proving it - no one has proven the existence of a heath with ash this far back. It is difficult to determine whether ash that is found is from natural fires instead of man made



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 04:08 PM
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When we "invented" fire, it must have been a lot like this great movie.

Quest For Fire



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 

Do we need modern steel to make flint fires?
Actually I've never thought about it much, but at least here Wikipedia says that flint fires are known in contemporary "primitive cultures", and the paleolithic:


The flint and steel method was also used by primitive cultures. Steel or iron, when struck against any glassy stone such as quartz, jasper, agate or flint, will produce sparks. Sparks are caught onto suitable tinder and fanned into flames. A flint alone does not produce incandescent embers; it is the flint's ability to violently release small particles of iron, exposing them to oxygen that starts the burning. These methods have been known since the Paleolithic ages, and are still commonly in use with certain 'primitive' tribes (but difficult to use in a damp atmosphere).


en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 14-2-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


That may be true. But a lot of this information to go by for this are from digs from the late 1800's, who's finds were promptly discarded by museums and more prominent modern archaeologists and scientists at the time because it contradicted their own opinions. Their careers would go down the drain and all history books would have to be rewritten. I'm sure the evidence exists, it's just being hidden. My statements would probably be better suited under conspiracy theories though, right?
Again, I do feel like a fool not citing my information so take it with a grain of salt.



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by wigit
 


Never heard of it, looks pretty cool! Downloading it right now.

www.demonoid.me...



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by ForbiddenHologram
 


Cool, you'll enjoy it. It was Ron Perlman's first movie and he was perfectly cast for it too.



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by ForbiddenHologram
reply to post by Hanslune
 


That may be true. But a lot of this information to go by for this are from digs from the late 1800's, who's finds were promptly discarded by museums and more prominent modern archaeologists and scientists at the time because it contradicted their own opinions. Their careers would go down the drain and all history books would have to be rewritten. I'm sure the evidence exists, it's just being hidden. My statements would probably be better suited under conspiracy theories though, right?
Again, I do feel like a fool not citing my information so take it with a grain of salt.


Howdy ForbiddenHologram

If you are talking about fire, I'd don't get your connection




But a lot of this information to go by for this are from digs from the late 1800's, who's finds were promptly discarded by museums and more prominent modern archaeologists and scientists at the time because it contradicted their own opinions.


Please explain

Books are re-written on average every 18 months - people get paid to re-write books-they actually like that. If you would check you'll find few 1960 archaeology books contain the same info as one from 2012.



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


I am talking about fires... I had remembered reading that in areas that they had found species of the late Pliocene, diggers had also found evidence of contained fires.



posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 




Learn something new everyday.

I've never seen anyone do with anything other than flint and steel,

Perhaps iron ore would suffice?



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