Researchers Uncover 300,000-Year-Old Hearth in Qesem Cave
Researchers have uncovered a 300,000 year-old hearth in Qesem Cave, which might throw light on ways used by ancient humans to control fire light and how they use it for daily purpose. The scientists used infrared spectroscopy technique to analyze a thick deposit of wood ash inside the cave.
Dr. Ruth Shahack-Gross, of the Kimmel Center for Archeological Science at the Weizmann Institute, said this research could be a turning point in the development of human culture. This discovery also sheds light in understanding impressive levels of social and cognitive development of humans living some 300,000 years ago.
Researchers claimed the width of the hearth as 6.5 feet in diameter by testing the micro-morphology of ash. Some remains of stones and tools of different shapes, which were used by ancient humans in killing small animals and cutting meat, have also been discovered by researchers.
Signs of fire have not been discovered for the first time in Qesem Cave, but scientists have also uncovered ash deposits and butchered bones dating back to 400,000 years old.
The findings in 2010 stated that the teeth found at the site dating back to 200,000 and 400,000 years ago were of Homo sapiens. This raised controversy to the popular theory, which states that Homo sapiens arose to about 200,000 years ago in Africa.
This research has been published by the researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in the Journal of Archaeological Science.