Researchers suggest that the discovery of fire influenced human evolution. Fire allowed humans to cook their food, which made food easier to chew and digest—which, in turn, contributed to the reduction of human tooth and gut size.
Earliest dates for control of fire accepted by skeptical critics … who are only willing to consider the most unequivocal evidence will still admit to at least 230,000 years ago. There is enough good evidence in at least one site to establish fire was under control at this time by humans. At this site, called Terra Amata, an ancient beach location on the French Riviera, stone hearths are found at the center of what may have been huts; and more recent sources may put the site's age at possibly 300,000 years old rather than 230,000.