Evidence for the Use of Fire at Zhoukoudian, China

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Science  10 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5374, pp. 251-253
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5374.251

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Zhoukoudian is widely regarded as having the oldest reliable evidence for the controlled use of fire by humans. A reexamination of the evidence in Layer 10, the earliest archaeological horizon in the site, shows that burned and unburned bones are present in the same layer with stone tools. However, no ash or charcoal remnants could be detected. Hence, although indirect evidence for burning is present, there is no direct evidence for in situ burning.

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