Tag Archives: mastery of fire

How Long Have Our Ancestors Been Cooking With Fire?

“We mastered fire with the invention of matches, silly!”

Earlier this month I mentioned that biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham estimates hominins tamed fire and started cooking with it 1.8 million years ago.

A recent article at Slate reviews the debate among anthropologists.  Some respected authorities date our mastery of fire from 12,000 to 400,000 years ago.

I don’t know the answer, but I’d wager it was much earlier than 12,000 years ago.

—Steve