Researchers at Leiden University and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands suggest that the first cultural revolution in human history took place about 400 thousand years ago, when the ancestors of modern people began to actively light a fire. This was announced in a press release on EurekAlert !.
The earliest evidence of possible fire use is sparse and difficult to distinguish from natural fire residues. On the contrary, later 400 thousand years ago, traces of the deliberate use of fire were found in many well-preserved sites of ancient sites, where archaeological excavations were carried out.
The widespread occurrence of a particular cultural behavior can be explained in several ways: independent occurrence in several places, migration of populations, or the transfer of genes associated with behavior. Due to the lack of widespread environmental changes, as well as genetic or fossil evidence of movements of hominin populations during this period, scientists argue that cultural distribution is the most plausible version.
The spread of stone tool technology occurred at an early stage in human evolution, which is consistent with traces of population migration, for example, in the history of Acheulean hand ax technology. At the same time, about 400 thousand years ago, the active spread of ancient technologies began, which precedes the flourishing of cultures associated with the late Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens.