We have come to recognize that the nature of human adaptations must be viewed in the context of bio-cultural evolution. For the last 2.5 million years, at least, hominins have evolved both biologically and culturally with these two facets irretrievably entangled. Fire use must be seen as one of the most important of the technological components of this interplay: it has very likely had major effects on our biological evolution, which in turn likely led to other major technological changes, such as the development of clothing and artificial shelter and changes in hominin diet. In fact, the biology, micro-environment, and behavior of modern humans are deeply entangled with fire-use to the point that the survival of our species has come to essentially depend on it.
“Fire and the Genus Homo" will be held October 16-22, 2015, at Tivoli Palacio de Seteais in Sintra, Portugal, and is organized by Francesco Berna and Dennis Sandgathe, archaeologists at Simon Fraser University.
Eighteen scholars from Asia, Europe, the Near East, North America, Australia and New Zealand will come together to review data and collection techniques, revise methodological approaches, discuss integrated, up-to-date scenarios for hominin development of fire technology, and develop a theoretical and methodological framework for future research.
This symposium is designed to bring together people conducting leading research on the origin of the controlled use of fire and its cultural and biological significance to the genus Homo. These researchers have begun to collect, review and employ new types of archaeological and biological data and have started to pose new questions about the role of fire in human evolution.