AI tools help scientists to find hominins used fire 800k years ago

New DelhiUpdated: Jul 30, 2022, 02:38 PM IST

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Such a method, if used more, will give archaeology a more data driven basis

Working hypothesis on human evolution says that the ability to use fire in a controlled manner was a major step. The fire gave protection from cold and even led to man cooking his food before consumption. This further gave protection against microbes present in the food. Hence, studying evidence of use of fire forms an important aspect of archaeological investigation.

Now, a new technique has been used to determine that hominins, a form of man before it evolved into its modern form, used fire even 800,000 years ago.

The new technique involves use of Artificial Intelligence. Such a method, if used more, will give archaeology a more data driven basis.

Experts involved in this study are from Weizmann Institute of Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Toronto.

“The deep learning models that prevailed had a specific architecture that outperformed the others and successfully gave us the confidence we needed to further use this tool in an archaeological context having no visual signs of fire use,” said one of the researchers as quoted by SciTechDaily.

“It was not only a demonstration of exploration and being rewarded in terms of the knowledge gained,” said another researcher, “but of the potential that lies in combining different disciplines: Ido has a background in quantum chemistry, Zane is a scientific archaeologist, and Liora and Michael are prehistorians. By working together, we have learned from each other. For me, it’s a demonstration of how scientific research across the humanities and science should work.”

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