John Gowlett (University of Liverpool) will give a lecture on “Fire and humanity: the greatest discovery after language”.
Mastery of fire is one of the greatest human achievements, celebrated in countless myths such as that of Prometheus. For Darwin it was second only to language. But how did we come to have fire use, and what can we rely on in the earliest record? These are highly topical issues in modern palaeoanthropology. They touch on the differences between using wildfire and making hearthfire. And then how far did fire come to permeate our lives, including changing our diet with cooking, and shaping our social being? This talk examines key evidence from the early past and from biology and makes the argument that fire use has very deep roots.
The event is part of the Palaeolithic Seminar series, organised jointly by Professor Georgia Kourtesi-Phillipaki of the University of Athens and Professor Nena Galanidou of the University of Crete.