WWU researcher says early humans may have captured fire from lava flows
The Bellingham Herald
As a professor of geography, Michael Medler knows to ask "Why here?" Combine that with his academic interest in fire, and Medler has developed an intriguing idea - what he calls a "speculation" - about why early ancestors of humans developed where they did. The Olduvai Gorge in east Africa's Great Rift Valley has been called the "cradle of mankind" because of important prehistoric discoveries there. The valley is where Homo erectus, a predecessor of contemporary humans, emerged about 1.8 million years ago and spread outward, helped in part by its ability to use fire.