Humans have been using fire to cook for thousands of years, but how long ago did we start organising food into a certain space? Archaeologists believe they've found the answer.
The discovery of a hearth in Qesem Cave (a dig that started in 2010) is a major archaeological find. This kitchen would have been used by hominins, who would later evolve into humans. The archaeologists identified the fire by a thick layer of wood ash on the floor of the cave, which included pieces of bone. They took a small chunk of it to examine, slicing it into thin layers in the lab. This led the archaeologists to conclude that these came from the Hominins performing domestic rituals.
This segregation of space is very advanced and shows signs of a social order, much like we have in families today. The hearth could also have been used for social gatherings, which tells of the advanced cognitive ability of these early humans.
It's a very strange and humbling thought that our ancestors once cooked in the kitchen and sat around socialising much like we do today. This discovery bridges the gap between us and early humans even less, letting us empathise more with them and realise that we are only living a more advanced version of their lives.