Hidden signatures of early fire at Evron Quarry (1.0 to 0.8 Mya)

Zane Stepka, Ido Azuri, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Michael Chazan, Filipe Natalio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pyrotechnology is a key element of hominin evolution. The identification of fire in early hominin sites relies primarily on an initial visual assessment of artifacts' physical alterations, resulting in potential underestimation of the prevalence of fire in the archaeological record. Here, we used a suite of spectroscopic techniques to counter the absence of visual signatures for fire and demonstrate the presence of burnt fauna and lithics at the Lower Paleolithic (LP) open-air site of Evron Quarry (Israel), dated between 1.0 and 0.8 Mya and roughly contemporaneous to Gesher Benot Ya'aqov where early pyrotechnology has been documented. We propose reexamining finds from other LP sites lacking visual clues of pyrotechnology to yield a renewed perspective on the origin, evolution, and spatiotemporal dispersal of the relationship between early hominin behavior and fire use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2123439119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume119
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 the Author(s).

Keywords

  • Lower Paleolithic
  • pyrotechnology
  • spatiotemporal patterns
  • spectroscopy

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