Early use of fire

Early use of fire

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Early use of fire. Historical artwork of early humans gathered around a fire. There is evidence for the controlled use of fire over one million years ago. Such use of fire distinguishes humans from other animals, allowing humans to keep warm, cook food, and scare away predators. The key role of fire is thought to have led to it being central to many religious and social customs and rituals. Fire also led to new technologies, such as metal- working and lighting technologies. From Physique Populaire (E. Desbeaux, 1891).

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