New research suggests that using fire to cook food started 600,000 years before previously thought. Archeologists from Tel Aviv University's Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Israel assert that our early ancestors cooked fish with fire 770,000 years ago. archaeologists claim that these prehistoric humans, who lived alongside banks of Jordan River in what is present-day northern Israel, used fire to cook "huge fish" they caught in nearby lake. They say their finding is earliest recorded evidence of food being cooked. Until this new discovery, scientists believed first "definitive evidence" of cooking was by Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens, around 170,000 years ago.
Lead researcher Irit Zohar spent 16 years analyzing ancient fish bones and enamel found on fish teeth. Her analysis showed that grilled or baked fish had been eaten 770 millennia ago. She told AFP news agency that: "It was like facing puzzle, with more and more information until we could make story about human evolution." She added that her biggest conundrum was to ascertain whether or not fish had been eaten raw and then their bones thrown into fire, or whether it had been cooked first. She said: "The whole question about exposure to fire is whether it is about getting rid of remains or desire to cook." She said the fish were two-metre-long carp, that would have been particularly succulent when cooked.