What evidence is there that Homo erectus used fire? Why did they use it?
Litha, Tokyo, Japan
Dr. dig responds:
In 1988 archaeologists C.K. Brain and A. Sillen discovered fragments of burned bone in the Swartkrans Cave, South Africa. The bone was in layers dated to approximately 1.5 million years old, and belonged to a variety of animals including zebra and warthog. In the same layers were the remains of early man, including Homo erectus. Scientific analysis suggested that the bones had been cooked on a wood-burning fire; cooked meat is far easier to eat than raw meat. Burned plants and bones were also found in the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. They were approximately one million years old.