Human Evolution

, Volume 1, Issue 6, pp 517–523 | Cite as

The human monopoly on the use of fire: Its origins and conditions

  • J. Goudsblom


The domestication of fire was a major breakthrough in the sociocultural development of humankind, puttingHomo at a tremendous advantage over other species. In this paper an attempt is. made to reconstruct the first stages of the domestication process, with special emphasis upon its socio-psychological aspects as a ‘civilizing process’. The problem is discussed, first, of what enabled hominid groups to acquire and maintain the learned capacity of handling fire, and, second, of how the control of fire became a species-monopoly shared by all human societies.

Key words

fire domestication civilization civilizing process monopoly formation 


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Copyright information

© Editrice II Sedicesimo 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Goudsblom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AmsterdamNetherlands

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