Remember this when whoever cooks at your place* starts kvetching about having to work on old-fashioned equipment:
A team of Israeli scientists recently discovered in the Qesem Cave, an archaeological site near present-day Rosh Ha’ayin, the earliest evidence — dating to around 300,000 years ago — of unequivocal repeated fire building over a continuous period. These findings not only help answer the question, they hint that those prehistoric humans already had a highly advanced social structure and intellectual capacity.
Around the hearth area, as well as inside it, the archaeologists found large numbers of flint tools that were clearly used for cutting meat. In contrast, the flint tools found just a few meters away had a different shape, designed for other activities. Also in and around the area were large numbers of burnt animal bones — further evidence for repeated fire use for cooking meat. Shahack-Gross and her colleagues have shown that this organization of various “household” activities into different parts of the cave points to an organization of space — and a thus kind of social order — that is typical of modern humans. This suggests that the cave was a sort of base camp that prehistoric humans returned to again and again.
Actually, that’s a very long time ago. Which reminds me: Michael Cremo (the Forbidden Archaeology guy) is still wrong. Right? 😉
See also: Musical instruments pushed back by about 7,000 years
Artists’ workshop from 100,000 years ago
Sophisticated tool production system discovered, from 200,000-400,000 million years ago
Stone tools nearly two million years old
* Possibly that person who cooks is a more advanced hominid than we uncooks are.