Homo Erectus: Pyro Technology

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03/02/2012
Homo erectus & Pyro technology

The Homo erectus lineage consisted of the first human beings that controlled fire, or pyro technology, to sustain life. In this case fire was their lifeline, and without it there may not have been the continuation of human life as we know it. Physical evidence of fire making preserved at early sites of Homo erectus caves proved they were able to contain and control the flames. Origins of fire making are speculated from many hypotheses of archaeologists. Fire making became their lifestyle, and with fire the Homo erectus maintained a stable heat and light source. In early Homo erectus times these beings lived in caves in Southern Africa. In these caves evidence of fire use was discovered and examined by Kenneth Oakley and his colleagues, but the evidence was inconclusive (Clark and Harris 7). Eventually more Homo erectus sites were found and were also searched for possible fire making utilities and products of their fire making tools. In three sites of eastern and southern Africa, Clark discovered remains of burnt bone of a catfish and charred logs, along with other burned plant materials and rare fire-fractured quartzite (Clark and Harris 7). These discoveries revealed many uses of fire to the Homo erectus. Cleary the burnt bone of catfish shows that Homo erectus gained knowledge of cooking raw meats. Materials left behind such as the charred logs probably indicated their source to keep the fire burning as long as they needed. Fire in human nature has always been a fear and still is, but humans have learned to understand and control fire to their will. In Kenneth Feder’s book “The Past in Perspective an Introduction to Human Prehistory” he stated that “Homo erectus was our first ancestor able to control fire due to the evidence founded at an 800,000 year old site in Gesher Benot Ya ‘aqov, in Israel. Strong evidence has been found there such as burned seeds, wood, and even flint” (110). The capabilities of having...
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