Prehistoric men knew how to heat their caves without getting polluted!

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  • Research conducted in a cave in southeastern France made it possible to locate the hearth at the time of the caveman
  • This site responded to the need to protect against the health effects of smoke from the stove

The energy performance of housing, which will certainly be in the news over the next few years due to the implementation of new standards, will not be new … A study conducted by Tel Aviv University relating to prehistoric times in a cave Lazaret in the Alpes-Maritimes shows that more than 150,000 years ago General, early humans already knew where to place the stove perfectly which allowed them to heat themselves and cook their food so that it would give them optimum comfort, but less exposure to unhealthy fumes!

Cave with an area of ​​290 square meters

to achieve This study was published in Scientific ReportsIn this study, researchers conducted a series of simulations of smoke dispersal at 16 potential locations within this Middle Paleolithic cave and at a “habitable” surface of 290 square metres. To assess the effect of smoke on the health of its ancient inhabitants, the scientists wanted to compare their measurements with the World Health Organization’s smoke exposure recommendations. Thus they mapped four areas within the cave: a “red” area where smoke density is very high, a “yellow” area which helps occupy the building for a few minutes, a “green” area compatible with long-term occupancy and a “blue” area that is smoke-free.

Home in the perfect location

“We found that the average density of smoke was negligible when the hearth was at the bottom of the cave, allowing smoke to flow easily from it, but we also found that in this case it was best suited for prolonged activity relatively far from the hearth itself”, Yavit Kedar, the doctoral student who led this study, confirms. And on exactly 25 square meters, including the fire site and the “living area”, the first humans installed their stove.

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In fact, early humans had to find in their cave layout the right balance between proximity to a hearth for their daily activities and breathable air. “Our study shows that prehistoric humans were able, without sensors or simulators, to choose the ideal location, demonstrating their ingenuity, ability to plan their actions, and awareness of harm to their health through exposure to smoke.”, confirms Professor Ran Barkai, co-author of the study.

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