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Earliest use of fire by evolving paleontologists (free pdf)

From: Ben Creisler

OK--this is NOT Mesozoic, dinosaur or even reptile-related, but it IS
a major paleo discovery. This study is the best evidence yet for a
pre-sapiens species of Homo (erectus? ergaster?) using fire to cook
food. I would plead that this is a major step in the evolution of
paleontologists....plus the pdf is free.

Francesco Berna, Paul Goldberg, Liora Kolska Horwitz, James Brink,
Sharon Holt, Marion Bamford, and Michael Chazan (2012)
Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of
Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (advance online publication)
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1117620109
Free pdf:

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.