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Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa

Journal Article


Abstract


  • 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.

UOW Authors


  •   Berna, Francesco (external author)
  •   Goldberg, Paul (external author)
  •   Horwitz, Liora Kolska (external author)
  •   Brink, James (external author)
  •   Holt, Sharon (external author)
  •   Bamford, Marion K. (external author)
  •   Chazan, Michael (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Berna, F., Goldberg, P., Horwitz, L., Brink, J., Holt, S., Bamford, M. & Chazan, M. (2012). Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa. National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings, 109 (20), E1215-E1220.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84861207113

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/3050

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • E1215

End Page


  • E1220

Volume


  • 109

Issue


  • 20

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • 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.

UOW Authors


  •   Berna, Francesco (external author)
  •   Goldberg, Paul (external author)
  •   Horwitz, Liora Kolska (external author)
  •   Brink, James (external author)
  •   Holt, Sharon (external author)
  •   Bamford, Marion K. (external author)
  •   Chazan, Michael (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Berna, F., Goldberg, P., Horwitz, L., Brink, J., Holt, S., Bamford, M. & Chazan, M. (2012). Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa. National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings, 109 (20), E1215-E1220.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84861207113

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/3050

Has Global Citation Frequency


Start Page


  • E1215

End Page


  • E1220

Volume


  • 109

Issue


  • 20

Place Of Publication


  • United States