Maîtrise du feu au paléolithique

Etudes discutant du rôle plus ou moins important et plus ou moins ancien de la maîtrise du feu et de la cuisson au paléolithique

A Cross-cultural Survey of On-site Fire Use by Recent Hunter-gatherers: Implications for Research on Palaeolithic Pyrotechnology
Mc Cauley et al.
Journal of paleolithic archeology, 2020

Perhaps most notably, we found that several groups did not know how to make fire and that even within some of the groups who were able to make fire, the relevant knowledge was restricted to a very small number of individuals. Another surprising finding was that many groups preferred to preserve fire rather than creating it anew, to the point that they would carry it between camps.

Geochemical Evidence for the Control of Fire by Middle Palaeolithic Hominins
Britthingham et al.
Nature, 2019

these results suggest that the ability of hominins to manipulate fire independent of exploitation of wildfires was spatially variable in the MP and may have developed multiple times in the genus Homo.

Hominin fire use in the Okote member at Koobi Fora, Kenya: New evidence for the old debate
Hlubik et al.
Journal of human evolution, 2019

We present new work on the evidence of fire at the FxJj20 Site complex in Koobi Fora, dated to 1.5 Ma. We highlight evidence of burning found on site through Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometry, and describe ongoing work to investigate the association of hominin behavior and fire evidence.

Towards an understanding of the costs of fire
Amanda G. Henry et al.
Quaternary international, 2018
Here we discuss in detail the various kinds of costs associated with fire and how these costs could, and do, structure human fire-use behavior. We then describe a small experiment to ‘put some numbers on’ the potential costs of fire, by quantifying one of the most expensive costs (fuel collection) and comparing it to one of the most-praised benefits (cooking of food). The results suggest that the costs of fuel collection are very high in less-forested environments, and that excessively large amounts of cooked foods are needed to match the total costs of fuel collection and the act of cooking. Overall, the costs of fire can be quite high and must be considered when proposing models for pre-modern human adoption and regular use of fire technologies.

Were Western European Neandertals Able to Make Fire?
Harold L. Dibble, 2018

Finding Prometheus
Sarah Hlubik, 2018

Fire for a Reason: Barbecue at Middle Pleistocene Qesem Cave, Israel, , , and

Fire and the Genus Homo: Wenner-Gren Symposium Supplement 16
Leslie Aiello, 2017

Ethnoarchaeology of Paleolithic Fire: Methodological Considerations

Spatial Analysis of Fire: Archaeological Approach to Recognizing Early Fire

Fire and the Genus Homo: An Introduction to Supplement 16

Identifying and Describing Pattern and Process in the Evolution of Hominin Use of Fire

Researching the Nature of Fire at 1.5 Mya on the Site of FxJj20 AB, Koobi Fora, Kenya, Using High-Resolution Spatial Analysis and FTIR Spectrometry
Sarah Hlubik, 2017

Control of Fire in the Paleolithic: Evaluating the Cooking Hypothesis

Genetic Evidence of Human Adaptation to a Cooked Diet

The discovery of fire by humans: a long and convoluted process
J. A. J. Gowlett,

Human Brain Expansion during Evolution Is Independent of Fire Control and Cooking
Alianda M. Cornelio et al.
Frontiers in neurosciences, 2016.

Cornelio, 2016 brain independent fire


Divergent Ah Receptor Ligand Selectivity during Hominin Evolution
Hubbard et al.
Molecular biology and evolution, 2016

Our findings reveal that a functionally significant change in the AHR occurred uniquely in humans, relative to other primates, that would attenuate the response to many environmental pollutants, including chemicals present in smoke from fire use during cooking.

The plant component of an Acheulian diet at Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov, Israel
Melamed et al.
PNAS, 2016
Diet is central for understanding hominin evolution, adaptation, and environmental exploitation, but Paleolithic plant remains are scarce. A unique macrobotanical assemblage of 55 food plant taxa from the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov, Israel includes seeds, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and plants producing underground storage organs. The food plant remains were part of a diet that also included aquatic and terrestrial fauna. This diverse assemblage, 780,000 y old, reflects a varied plant diet, staple plant foods, environmental knowledge, seasonality, and the use of fire in food processing.

When did humans learn to boil ?
John D. Speth
PaleoAnthropology, 2015

Cliquer pour accéder à PA20150054.pdf

Obviously, this evidence does not prove that Neanderthals, or earlier hominins, were in fact wet-cooking but, given the simplicity of the technology and the wide availability of suitable container materials, it seems highly likely. Scholars interested in the evolution of human diet and culinary technology need to be aware of this likelihood, and begin to focus their collective efforts on finding innovative ways to “see” wet-cooking in the Paleolithic record.

The importance of carbohydrates in human evolution

Here, we argue that plant carbohydrates and meat were both necessary and complementary dietary components in hominin evolution.[…]

Although the timing of widespread cooking is not known, Wrangham and Conklin-
Brittain (2003) argue that it was long enough ago to allow for biological adaptations to take place, including changes in digestive anatomy around 1.8 million years ago, reduction in tooth size, and reduced capacity for digestion of raw, fibrous foods. They further propose that cooked foods were soft enough to be palatable by infants, potentially leading to earlier weaning and shorter interbirth intervals (also see Carmody et al. 2011)

Earliest fire in Africa: towards the convergence
of archaeological evidence and the cooking
Gowlett & Wrangham
Azania : archeological research in Africa, 2013

Interpretations often struggle to take into account the implications of a huge bias in archaeological preservation, which means that our surviving evidence does not accurately map the past. Additionally, there is often a‘yes-no’ presence/absence approach to fire, which does not recognise that earliest hominin fire use may have occurred in interaction with natural fire, and may not even have included deliberate hearth use in its first stages. Here we examine theneed to integrate different approaches to the issues of early fire-use, considering especially the earliest archaeological evidence and the ‘cooking hypothesis’, whilealso tackling the issues of apparent differences in early African and European fire records.

Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa
Berna et al.
PNAS, 2012

The ability to control fire was a crucial turning point in human evolution, but the question when hominins first developed this ability still remains. Here we show that micromorphological and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (mFTIR) analyses of intact sediments at the site of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa, provide unambiguous evidence—in the form of burned bone and ashed plant remains—that burning took place in the cave during the early Acheulean occupation, approximately 1.0 Ma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest secure evidence for burning in an archaeological context.

On the earliest evidence for habitual use of fire in Europe
Wil Roebroeks & Paola Villa
PNAS, 2011

The timing of the human control of fire is a hotly debated issue, with claims for regular fire use by early hominins in Africa at ∼1.6 million y ago. These claims are not uncontested, but most archaeologists would agree that the colonization of areas outside Africa, especially of regions such as Europe where temperatures at time dropped below freezing, was indeed tied to the use of fire. Our review of the European evidence suggests that early hominins moved into northern latitudes without the habitual use of fire. It was only much later, from ∼300,000 to 400,000 y ago onward, that fire became a significant part of the hominin technological repertoire. It is also from the second half of the Middle Pleistocene onward that we can observe spectacular cases of Neandertal pyrotechnological knowledge in the production of hafting materials. The increase in the number of sites with good evidence of fire throughout the Late Pleistocene shows that European Neandertals had fire management not unlike that documented for Upper Paleolithic groups.

Timing of the appearance of habitual fire use
Dennis Sandgathe et al.
PNAS, 2011

We agree that the evidence indicates thatfire wasnot a requisite technology that allowed Early Pleistocenehominins to expand into more northerly latitudes. However,we argue that the available evidence better supports a signifi-cantly later appearance for the habitual use offire (sometimenear the end of the Late Pleistocene) and that before thisfire,use was always sporadic and opportunistic. Roebroeks andVilla (1) supported their argument by showing, infigure 1 andtable 1 in ref. 1, significant increases in the numbers of siteswith good evidence forfire in the more recent Marine IsotopeStages (MIS), and they adjusted these data to show numbers ofsites with good evidence forfire per 10,000-y increment withineach MIS. A potential problem with these data is that they maysimply be reflecting the overall frequency of sites per time pe-riod. We can expect that, because of ongoing taphonomic pro-cesses, there will necessarily be fewer sites the farther back intime we look. It would be more meaningful if we look at thenumber of site occupations with good evidence forfire relative tothe total number of site occupations known for that specific timeperiod.

The energetic significance of cooking

cooking has critical effects not easily achievable by non-thermal processing, including the relatively complete gelatinisation of starch, efficient denaturing of proteins, and killing of food borne pathogens. This means that however sophisticated the non-thermal processing methods were, cooking would have conferred incremental energetic benefits. While much remains to be discovered, we conclude that the adoption of cooking would have led to an important rise in energy availability. For this reason, we predict that cooking had substantial evolutionary significance.

Early archaeological sites, hominid remains and traces of fire from Chesowanja, Kenya
Gowlett et al.
Nature, 1981

Recent investigations of Lower Pleistocene sites at Chesowanja have yielded in situ Oldowan and Oldowan-like stone artefacts, evidence of fire and a fragmentary ‘robust’ australopithecine cranium. Burnt clay found at one artefact locality dated to >1.42±0.07 Myr is the earliest known evidence of fire associated with a hominid occupation site.

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