Food - Drink
How Early Humans May Have First Boiled Food
You probably don’t see cooking as something revolutionary, but connecting heat with subsistence was one of the most significant advances in human evolution. Anthropologist Richard Wrangham says that early forms of cooking increased access to calories and nutrients while decreasing energy expended on chewing, leading humans to develop a higher brain capacity.
Early humans most likely cooked their food by boiling it, but before the advent of pottery, they likely used animal hide as a water vessel. Studies at the University of York have tested this ancient technique, and proved that deer hide — which is usually flammable, like other animal hides — can be used to boil water without catching fire.
Another method of boiling water, called stone boiling, was used by early humans in Northern Spain about 15,500 years ago. This method involves submerging hot rocks in a vessel filled with water, but these early humans had to engage in some trial and error, as rocks containing air or water bubbles can explode when heated.