…a million years old.
Sorry, raw foodies, we’ve been cooking for longer than we’ve been human.
I can see the young earth people grabbing this to say the dating method is unreliable. This is one of the frustrating things about people that believe the bible but don’t use their brains (knock it off Trent, it’s possible to do both.)
I’m wondering how close this find is to Ur, the city Abraham’s father came from?
The Late Cretaceous fireplace was found in South Africa, which was farther away from Ur back then than it is now.
What I want to know is if there is any evidence of animal domestication that long ago.
Poor Fred. Can’t even read his ??? in peace.
The point is that food should probably be eaten raw or cooked as appropriate. For example, fruit is probably best raw and beans are definitely better cooked.
It’s also true that overcooking can be a problem; witness the old standard of British institutional food (boil it until it gives up) and the common practice of barbecuing, which often results in food that is far from easy to digest and contains large amounts of carcinogens into the bargain.
I think we can give proto-man and his desire for tasty, denatured protein (perhaps his only luxury apart from booty-calls) a pass on the potential end-of-life carcinogen issue. He simply lacked the wherewithal to cook a perfect steak perfectly every time. Modern Neanderthals, however, get no such reprieve.
It’s also true that overcooking can be a problem; witness the old standard of British institutional food (boil it until it gives up)
As compared to the southern US tradition of “if it ain’t fried, it ain’t cooked.”
large amounts of carcinogens
… as determined by testing the food in animals, which have not spent the last couple of million years evolving on a diet of cooked food. I suspect humans almost universally are immune to the carcinogenic effects of these chemicals, due to natural selection over that time.
One aspect of “overcooking” that I keep wondering about.
Historically, we’ve gnawed bones, made bone meal, and stewed the heck out of the larger bones.
And – this is something we see a male/female preference bimodality over. (Not saying females don’t like this type of food, just that the intensity just seems different IMNSHO).
That is: Is it possible the modern diet lacks -cartilage- andor marrow for men in particular? Which leads to (a subconscious portion of) the desire for ribs, wings, etc.
So did they start the fire with friction or with flint, since focused sunlight doesn’t work well in a cave? I would be searching the site for tiny flakes of flint or sticks and cordage. It would be interesting to know which method was used first.
I think that question was answered in the 1981 nature documentary, Quest for Fire.
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