Human habitation of the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa has now been pushed back to 1.8 million years ago:
While tool artifacts at other sites have been backdated as far as 3.3 million years ago, the new findings are now thought to be the earliest sign of continuous prehistoric human living inside a cave – with the use of fire and tools in one fixed location indoors.David Nield, “Scientists Find Oldest Evidence of Ancient Human Activity Deep Inside a Desert Cave” at ScienceAlert
Probably won’t be the last though.
While ancient evidence of wildfires and human fires might get mixed up in open-air sites, that’s not the case in the Wonderwerk Cave. What’s more, other indicators of humans making fires were found: burnt bones and ash, for example, as well as the tools.David Nield, “Scientists Find Oldest Evidence of Ancient Human Activity Deep Inside a Desert Cave” at ScienceAlert
Funny how our ancestors get smarter every time we look at them:
The paper is closed access.
See also: Timing Of Human Use Of Fire Pushed Back By 300,000 Years “ Microscopic traces of wood ash, alongside animal bones and stone tools, were found in a layer dated to one million years ago at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.” (2012)