How cooking food and gathering for feasts made us human

NEW YORK (AP) — If you’re cooking or eating a special dinner this week, you have something in common with our ancient human ancestors. A recent study found the oldest evidence of using fire to cook, dating back to 780,000 years ago. The study comes from a site in Israel, where members of an extinct human species probably cooked fish over a fire. Scientists think learning to cook was a big step for evolution, because it helped early humans fuel their bigger brains. Later on, using food for special ceremonies helped build community when humans settled down. In the first feast 12,000 years ago, Stone Age humans ate tortoises and cattle to mark the death of a shaman.