Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/29/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Evidence shows repeated use, indicating that cooking and gathering took place in one area

Next to the wheel, the discovery of fire is one of the most important discoveries made by ancient man. Before man harnessed flames, the world was plunged in darkness whenever the sun went down. All food had to be consumed raw - and many of our ancestors froze to death come the winter. Now, a team of Israeli scientists have found in the Qesem Cave, near present-day Rosh Ha'ayin, the earliest evidence of fire building over a continuous period.

Dr. Ruth Shahack-Gross and her colleagues have shown that this organization of various 'household' activities into different parts of the cave points to an organization of space.

Dr. Ruth Shahack-Gross and her colleagues have shown that this organization of various "household" activities into different parts of the cave points to an organization of space.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/29/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: hearth, Israel, archaeology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dating back to 300,000 years ago, it's the first sign that ancient man tried to rein in and control fire for the benefit of himself and others. This recent discovery suggests that those prehistoric humans had a highly advanced social structure and intellectual capacity.

Ongoing since 2000, excavations in Qesem Cave have been conducted by Professors Avi Gopher and Ran B

Ongoing since 2000, excavations in Qesem Cave have been conducted by Professors Avi Gopher and Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University.


Ongoing since 2000, excavations in Qesem Cave have been conducted by Professors Avi Gopher and Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University. Dr. Ruth Shahack-Gross of the Kimmel Center for Archeological Science at the Weizmann Institute has been involved in this archaeological research since excavations began, collecting samples on-site for later detailed analysis in the lab.

Illuminate the darkness with prayer!

Shahack-Gross identified a thick deposit of wood ash in the center of the cave. Using infrared spectroscopy, she and her colleagues discovered that mixed in with the ash were bits of bone and soil that had been heated to very high temperatures, conclusive proof that the area had been the site of a large hearth.

Shahack-Gross then tested the micro-morphology of the ash, extracting a cubic chunk of sediment from the hearth and hardened it in the lab.

Shahack-Gross sliced it into extremely thin slices to be placed under a microscope to observe the exact composition of the materials in the deposit and reveal how they were formed. She was able to distinguish a great many micro-strata in the ash - evidence for a hearth that was used repeatedly over time.

Before man harnessed flames, the world was plunged in darkness whenever the sun went down. All food

Before man harnessed flames, the world was plunged in darkness whenever the sun went down. All food had to be consumed raw - and many of our ancestors froze to death come the winter.


In and around the hearth area, the archaeologists found large numbers of flint tools that were clearly used for cutting meat. The flint tools found just a few meters away had a different shape, designed for other activities.

Large numbers of burnt animal bones were further evidence for repeated fire use for cooking meat. Shahack-Gross and her colleagues have shown that this organization of various "household" activities into different parts of the cave points to an organization of space - and a thus kind of social order - which is also typical of modern humans.

This suggests that the cave was a sort of base camp that prehistoric humans returned to again and again. "These findings help us to fix an important turning point in the development of human culture - that in which humans first began to regularly use fire both for cooking meat and as a focal point - a sort of campfire - for social gatherings," she says.

"They also tell us something about the impressive levels of social and cognitive development of humans living some 300,000 years ago."

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Middle East

Palestinian Christians prevented from Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem since 1967 Watch

Image of Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Palestinian Christians feel the sting of segregation acutely during Holy Week. Strict, Israeli restrictions on movement prevents their access to holy sites in nearby Jerusalem. Many holy sites have remained out of reach in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since ... continue reading


BIGGEST IN THE WORLD: Saudi Arabia determined to build world's tallest building Watch

Image of High winds will also be a problem for this gargantuan building, so the tower will change shape regularly to counter it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not be outdone, Saudi Arabia is vowing to build the world's tallest building. Said structure, called the Kingdom Tower, heads into construction next week. AT its height, 3,280 feet, it will eventually dwarf Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,716 feet, the ... continue reading


AL-QAEDA ALIVE: 'We must eliminate the cross ... The bearer of the cross is America!' Watch

Image of  In the video, the nefarious

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"This is quite an extraordinary video," terrorist experts Paul Cruickshank says. There's another word for it: absolutely horrifying. In the video, the nefarious "crown prince" of al-Qaeda, Nasir al-Wuhayshi is seen addressing a group of 100 like-minded ... continue reading


Suffering, dying in silence: Syrian Christians face arduous holy week Watch

Image of Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a seemingly endless Way of the Cross, with many suffering and dying in silence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The assassination of Dutch Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt, shot to death by an unknown assailant at his base in Homs, Syria on April 7 has cast a pall for the faithful here. Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus says that Syrian Christians face a ... continue reading


Asia Bibi remains in prison, reluctant officials hide behind bureaucracy Watch

Image of Asia Bibi remains in prison, judges unwilling to take up her case for fear of violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy in Pakistan still sits in a women's prison her case held up by deliberate delays and a reluctance of judges and others to hear her case. Officials are afraid that they will become targets of Islamic ... continue reading


Dutch priest beaten, killed at his Syrian monastery Watch

Image of Father Frans van der Lugt was described as a man of great courage who

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dutch Jesuit priest, 75-year-old Frans van der Lugt was beaten and shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his monastery in Homs, Syria this week, the Vatican said. He had been living in Syria since the early Seventies. He's being described as man of great courage ... continue reading


Tunisian government strives to root out Islamist influence from Mosques Watch

Image of Tunisia's newly elected government, recognizing that one of the nation's chief sources of revenue is tourism, has wasted little time in quelling extremist factions there.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Tunisian authorities, along with the Islamist party Ennahda had clashed on several levels for any months. The conflict was felt on all strata of Tunisian society. Violence roiled in the streets, to the universities, in places of worship and private homes. ... continue reading


Syrian refugees in Lebanon passes one million mark Watch

Image of U.N. staff in Lebanon register 2,500 new Syrian refugees every day, the UNHCR said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Syria's devastating Civil War drags into its fourth year without an end in sight, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has officially passed the one million mark, the United Nations' refugee agency says. Syrian refugees now make up almost a quarter of ... continue reading


Meet Catholic Online's new Middle East correspondent Watch

Image of Kaci Racelma received his Bachelor of English literature in 1996. He has worked in the daily Algerian newspaper la Nouvelle République since 1998.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Journalist Kaci Racelma has joined the Catholic Online family as a much needed and vaunted Middle East correspondent to our international news desk. We welcome his wealth of experience in relaying breaking stories in this complex part of the world.  LOS ... continue reading


Authorities break up kiddie sex abuse ring, 17-year-old pimp and several men arrested Watch

Image of Several hundred women in Israel - many of them foreigners - are trafficked within the country annually for commercial sexual exploitation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tel Aviv Police have arrested seven men in connection with a child molestation ring. An undercover investigation began after one of the purported victims came forward and told them about a number of girls who had sex with a group of adults in exchange for ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter