Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Did Archaic Hominins Use Fire?

A new study suggests that Homo naledi, an archaic hominin probably not directly ancestral to modern humans or Neanderthals or Denisovans, with remains found in a South African cave, used fire, according to an account from the Washington Post.

We were already pretty sure that Neanderthals also used fire, so it isn't a distinctly modern human innovation. But Neanderthals are fairly close to modern humans (so much so that non-African humans generally have Neanderthal admixture in their genomes) and had larger brains than modern human do, while Homo naledi is one of our more remote archaic hominin relatives and was smaller brained than modern humans.

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