Neanderthals used stone hand axes to strike a light

Enlarge / Neanderthals used stone hand axes, or bifaces, like these, along with chunks of pyrite, to light fires. (credit: Johnbod via Wikimedia Commons)

We know Neanderthals used fire because we have burned animal bones from several archaeological sites along with evidence that Neanderthals collected manganese dioxide, a black mineral powder the helps lower the combustion temperature of wood. But archaeologists haven't been convinced that Neanderthals kindled the fires themselves.

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