I. Prehistoric Times > D. Homo Erectus and the First Peopling of the World (1.8 Million to 250,000 Years Ago) > 2. Fire
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
2. Fire
 
The earliest Homo erectus fossils come from East Africa and date to around 1.8 million years ago. By this time, the savanna was drier and human settlement intensified as Homo erectus developed efficient technologies and lifeways. Homo erectus now tamed fire, presumably by using brands from a natural conflagration. This discovery was a revolution in human history, for it enabled people to protect themselves against predators—they could move into more open country, where trees were much rarer, and camp in the open or in caves or rock shelters where hostile animals lurked. They could also increase their home range and cook food, as well as cope with harsh winters. It may be no coincidence that the first human settlement of Europe and Asia occurred after Homo erectus mastered fire.  1
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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