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Researchers say South African cave may be man’s oldest “home”

Entrance to Wonderwerk Caves, home to famous Bushman paintings, Kuruman, Northern Cape & # xa0; - Greatstock / Alamy Stock Photo & # xa0;

Entrance to Wonderwerk Caves with famous Bushman paintings, Kuruman, Northern Cape – Greatstock / Alamy Stock Photo

Researchers believe that they may have found the earliest human “home” in a South African cave, as evidenced by the families living there for two million years.

The Canadian-Israeli team found traces of the earliest use of fire, at least a million years ago, in the 140-meter-deep Wonder Cave in the southern Kalahari Desert.

The cave has been explored by archaeologists since it was first discovered by local farmers in 1940 and has led to sustained archaeological progress.

In 2009, researchers documented the oldest evidence of non-functional symbolic objects in the form of crystals collected by early humans.

In a newly published article in the Quaternary Science Review, Ron Sharr, Ari Matmon, Liora Kolska Horwitz, and Yael Ebert և Michael Chazan detail a cave of burnt bones, stone tools, soil, and ashes at a depth of at least 30 m.

Inside Wonderwerk Caves, Underground Caves Kur Excavations, Kuruman, Northern Cape & # xa0; - Greatstock / Alamy Stock Photo:

Wonderwerk Caves, Underground Caves Kur Excavations, Kuruman, Northern Cape – Greatstock / Alamy Stock Photo

Researchers do not believe this is a controlled fire that residents were able to start on their own. “We do not have combustion properties like Qesem [a cave in Israel]”We are not talking about a properly built hearth, but about a burnt patch,” Professor Chazan told the Israeli newspaper. He asked,

However, due to lightning strikes and forest fires, it is impossible to get inside the cave, which means that the fires can be “collected” instead and brought there by the residents.

By analyzing the many layers of soil, the team was able to create a remarkable picture of the evolution of early humans. The post starts with the early Oldova tools, simple tools made by cutting stones against each other, and goes through millions of years of axes.

“What we have here in the cave is the resting place of these very dramatic events of human evolution. “I can not think of any other site I know of, definitely not in sub-Saharan Africa, which has a full sequence of two million years of human activity,” said Professor Horwitz, co-chair of the Wonderwerk Cave expedition. National Post Office: In Canada.

The discovery still leaves many unanswered questions, in particular why those early inhabitants used fire and tools.

“Now it’s all about how we can come up with a unified picture of how life has changed in this incredible amount of time,” said Professor Chazan. Post:“We do not understand their lives from afar. There are so many questions, many more than the answers, but by working together and cooperating, we are able to take a step forward. ”

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