School of Geography

Geography Lunchtime Research Seminars: Prof. Simon Lewis

4 December 2019

Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm
Speaker: Prof. Simon Lewis
Venue: City Centre Seminar Room (Bancroft 2.07)

Prof. Simon Lewis, Professor of Quaternary Science, School of Geography, QMUL

Where’s the fire? Evidence of fire use 400,000 years ago in eastern England
The ability to control and use fire is regarded as one of the most significant turning points in human evolution and development. However the evidence for fire use in the Palaeolithic archaeological record remains contentious. In the Breckland of East Anglia there are a number of important Palaeolithic sites that date to MIS 11 (c. 400,000 years ago). One of them, Beeches Pit, is regarded as one of the earliest locations in Europe to retain evidence for human use of fire. Recently, work at two nearby sites has revealed further evidence for fire 400,000 years ago. This talk will summarise the archaeological evidence for fire from these sites and explore its imp0lications for human technological, social and cultural development in the Palaeolithic.