Neanderthals used fire in caves: French cave sheds new light on the Neanderthals
Deep inside Bruniquel Cave, in the Tarn et Garonne region of southwestern France, a set of human-made structures 336 meters from the entrance was recently dated as being approximately 176,500 years old. This discovery indicates that humans began occupying caves much earlier than previously thought: until now the oldest formally proven cave use dated back only 38,000 years (Chauvet). It also ranks the Bruniquel structures among the very first in human history. In addition, traces of fire show that the early Neanderthals, well before Homo sapiens, knew how to use fire to circulate in enclosed spaces far from daylight.