Early humans used fire 'a million years ago'

Last updated at 10:00
A fire

Scientists say they've found evidence that early humans used fire more than a million years ago - about 300,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Tiny traces of wood ash were discovered among million-year-old animal bones and stone tools in a cave in South Africa.

There was also colouring on the ground that points to controlled fires started by humans in the area.

The start of human fire use is important because it led to activities such as cooking and keeping warm.

"Socialising around a camp fire might actually be an essential aspect of what makes us human," said Michael Chazan from the University of Toronto.

The research has come from a team led by the University of Toronto and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.