Archaeology Magazine

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300,000-Year-Old Hearth Uncovered in Israel

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

hearth-fire-thinslice(Weizmann Institute of Science)REHOVOT, ISRAEL—A repeatedly-used hearth full of ash and charred bone has been uncovered in Israel’s Qesem Cave. The hearth measures more than six feet in diameter at its widest point, and was located so that many individuals could have used it. Bits of stone tools that may have been used for butchering animals were also found in and around the hearth. “[The finds] …tell us something about the impressive levels of social and cognitive development of humans living some 300,000 years ago,” said Ruth Shahack-Gross of the Weizmann Institute of Science. But it is not clear exactly which hominins lived in the cave and shared this large campfire.