Control of Fire in the Paleolithic: Evaluating the Cooking Hypothesis
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CitationWrangham, Richard. 2017. Control of Fire in the Paleolithic: Evaluating the Cooking Hypothesis. Current Anthropology 58, no. S16: S303-313.
AbstractAccording to current evidence, Homo sapiens was unable to survive on a diet of raw wild foods. Because cooked diets have large physiological and behavioral consequences, a critical question for understanding human evolution is when the adaptive obligation to use fire developed. Archaeological evidence of fire use is scarce before ca. 400 ka, which suggests to some that the commitment to fire must have arisen in the mid-Pleistocene or later. However, weak jaws and small teeth make all proposals for a raw diet of early Pleistocene Homo problematic. Furthermore, the mid-Pleistocene anatomical changes seem too small to explain the substantial effect expected from the development of cooking. Here I explore these and other problems. At the present time no solution is satisfactory, but this does not mean the problem should be ignored.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41707582
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