Neanderthals knew how to create fire, Armenian archaeologists say after studying Stone Age arene


YEREVAN, JANUARY 15, ARMENPRESS. Archaeologists in Armenia have studied aromatic hydrocarbons found at the Lusakert 1 Cave site and claim that this shows Stone Age Neanderthals were in fact able to make fire, Pavel Avetisyan – the Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences said at a news conference. The studies were made in 2019.

“I am talking about the cultural layer which Neanderthals left. This is news in the field of study of the archaic humans. Prior to these arguments, it was believed that only modern humans created and used fire. But this study showed that Neanderthals were in fact able to artificially create fire. This is a very serious study, which has a result of international significance”, Avetisyan said.

The excavations at the Lusakert 1 site – a cave where once Neanderthals lived – are carried out by a joint Armenian-American group of scientists.  

The aromatic hydrocarbons found in the cave showed that there was a source of creating fire.

In the past, researchers believed Neanderthals were unable to create fire and were relying on mother nature: i.e. they waited for the lighting to strike a tree to take the burning wood parts, or took fire from wildfires.

Studies showed that fire was used in the Lusakert 1 cave on a constant pattern, moreover – wildfires in the nearby terrain were extremely rare.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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