5-speed listening (Cooking - Level 4)

Cooking began 600,000 years earlier than we thought






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People may have started using fire to cook food 600,000 years before previously thought. Archeologists in Israel say that our early ancestors used fire to cook fish 770,000 years ago. These prehistoric humans lived on the banks of the Jordan River. They used fire to cook "huge fish" they caught in a nearby lake. Until this new discovery, scientists believed that the first "definitive evidence" of cooking was by Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens, around 170,000 years ago.

Researchers spent 16 years analyzing ancient fish bones and teeth. They told reporters that: "It was like facing a puzzle…until we could make a story about human evolution." Their biggest problem was to find out whether or not the fish had been eaten raw and then their bones thrown into the fire, or whether it had been cooked first. They said: "The whole question about exposure to fire is whether it is about getting rid of remains or a desire to cook."

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