Scientists suggest that early humans who lived in the Cueva Negra (Black Cave) rock-shelter of southeastern Spain about 800,000 years ago used fire.
They also exhibited behaviors that indicated a cognitively sophisticated late early Pleistocene use of resources and tools in their environment. The detailed report is published in the upcoming Volume 15 of Popular Archaeology Magazine.
In a report co-authored by Michael Walker and colleagues of Spain’s Murcia University, it’s said: “The most important findings at Cueva Negra concern human activity. Undoubted evidence of fire has been uncovered.”
They point to the evidence of sediment combustion, thermally altered chert and burnt animal bone found in a layer measured at 4.5 meters in depth.
Cueva Negra is not the only site that has evidenced early use of fire by early humans. The site of Bnot Ya’akov Bridge in Israel has been claimed to show human control of fire some time between 790,000 and 690,000 years ago and evidence has emerged at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa for the use of fire by around 1 million years ago. Yes, you read it right: 1 million years ago.
There are also other sites showing this possibility in Africa and China. But Cueva Negra could be the earliest, if not one of the earliest, sites in Europe demonstrating this development.