Stories of Fire: Origins, Interactions, and Futures
As the response to global warming leads towards a fundamental recalibration of our relationship to fire it is timely to look back into deep time at the origins of our entanglement with combustion. This brief talk draws on my experience working on the recovery of early evidence for human use of fire at the sites of Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa and Evron Quarry, Israel. I will argue that we should not think of an origin of human use of fire but rather of an emerging relationship between humans and fire. The hallmark of this relationship is that fire draws together technology and society; material and the intangible; adaptation and the sacred.