The Domestication of Fire Publication date : May 17, 2017
Henry de Lumley, a world-renowned paleontologist, is Professor Emeritus at the Museum of Natural History and Director of the Institute of Human Palaeontology. He has led archaeological digs in France, notably in Tautavel, but also in Africa and Georgia. His previous works, The First Man and The Great History of the First Europeans were immense successes.
400,000 years ago, man domesticated fire. Henry de Lumley returns to this fundamental discovery of the history of early man.
Fire was the true creator of human societies and a formidable factor in evolution. It enabled a lengthening of the day, producing light and warmth. It thus gave mankind the possibility of venturing to the furthest depths of their caves and of settling in colder climatic zones. In cooking meat, fire modified the human anatomy and ensured the growth of the cranium; it also caused the diminution of parasites and thus led to increased life-expectancy.
A mystery remains: how can we explain how all humankind, without means of communication between communities, was simultaneously able to master fire all around the planet? The attempt to solve this enigma, and to understand of every stage in the domestication of fire, is what this book is about.