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New Evidence Suggests Early Humans First Used Fire To Impress Friends

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New Evidence Suggests Early Humans First Used Fire To Impress Friends

KURUMAN, SOUTH AFRICA—Archaeologists excavating a 1.5-million-year-old Homo erectus habitation site this week unearthed the strongest evidence to date that early humans first used fire to impress their friends. “Based on the locations and prevalence of burn marks at the site, we can infer that fire was initially utilized by early humans to show off in front of one another, typically by leaping over a flaming pit or passing their hands quickly back and forth across the flame of a burning log,” said Boston University researcher Benjamin Shostick, adding that the discovery supports the hypothesis that setting a grassy plain ablaze to crack up friends was an important part of hominid culture long before fire was used for cooking and warmth. “The evidence indicates that early man quite possibly vocalized a loud, confident grunt to a gathering of friends and then tossed a fiery piece of wood into the air and attempted to catch it, and oftentimes poked at unsuspecting buddies with the end of a smoldering branch for the group’s amusement.” Researchers also found fossilized footprints in a circle pattern and numerous charred bones, which likely suggest that early man got big laughs after accidentally setting himself on fire.

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