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Fire-Altered Stone Tools

Gathering at the hearth

During this time period, early humans gathered around campfires that they made and controlled -- perhaps to socialize, to find comfort and warmth, to share food and information, and to find safety from predators. Scientists found this debris from stone toolmaking that had been scorched by fire at the site of Gesher Benot-Ya’aqov, Israel. Close by were concentrations of burned seeds and wood, marking the location of early hearths.

 Burned flint, Gesher Benot Ya'aquov, Israel.
Burned flint from the 790,000 year old site of Gesher Benot Ya'aquov, Israel.
Image Credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution
Fire-Altered Stone Tools
Exhibit Item
Date of discovery: 2004
Discovered by: A team led by Naama Goren-Inbar
Species:
Site: Gesher Benot-Ya’aqov, Israel
Page last updated: February 9, 2016