Archaeologists have discovered a 300,000 year old hearth which they believe was commonly used for fire and cooking. These results have caused a lot of controversy surrounding it, as it may challenge the ‘Out of Africa’ theory.
The Qesem Cave is situated near Tel Aviv and was discovered a few years ago before constructing a new road. Researchers found a thick deposit of ash, which suggests it was used often. Butchered and burnt bones were found near the cave, which is evidence that the hearth was used to cooking, and the flint tools unearthed means the inhabitants of the cave had some kind of intelligence.
The hearth is 6.5 metres wide and is a key find in suggesting when early man started using fire as both a cooking area as well as for social reasons.
This find has challenged the theory that Homo sapiens moved from Africa 200,000 years ago, therefore asking questions about the origins of our species. Although this will likely be hotly debated, evidence in this realm is still up in the air, so a definite conclusion has been given just yet.