Monday, May 7, 2018
Scientists Confirm Earliest Use of Fire and Oldest Stone Handaxe in Europe
In a recently published paper* in the journal, Historical Biology, researchers report confirmation that sediments bearing early human cultural remains in the Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar rockshelter in southeastern Spain are dated to over 800,000 years ago. The sediments include an Acheulean style stone handaxe and evidence for the use of fire within the rockshelter.
“We regard its age as quite likely between 865,000 and 810,000 years ago,” said Michael Walker of Spain’s Murcia University, a lead researcher on Cueva Negra.
“[Arguably] Until now hand-axes in Europe have not been recorded from before 500,000 years ago,” said Walker. Moreover, he adds, “the evidence of combustion [use of fire] is also the oldest anywhere outside Africa.”
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