Certainty Style Key

Certainty styling is being phased out topic by topic.

Hover over keys for definitions:
True   Likely   Speculative
Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Absolute Difference
MOCA Domain: 
MOCA Topic Authors: 

Cooking of food occurs only among humans (with the exception of some captive apes that assist humans in cooking). The invention of cooking allowed humans to extract more nutrients from various foods, by making the foods more digestible, and by destruction of toxins, lectins or infectious agents. The invention of cooking may have also allowed humans to increase hunting activities and evolve larger brains by increasing the quality of their diets.


  1. Cooked starchy rhizomes in Africa 170 thousand years ago, Wadley, Lyn, Backwell Lucinda, d’Errico Francesco, and Sievers Christine , Science, 2020/01/03, Volume 367, Issue 6473, p.87, (2020)
  2. Cooked starchy food in hearths ca. 120 kya and 65 kya (MIS 5e and MIS 4) from Klasies River Cave, South Africa, Larbey, Cynthia, Mentzer Susan M., Ligouis Bertrand, Wurz Sarah, and Jones Martin K. , Journal of Human Evolution, 2019/06/01/, Volume 131, p.210 - 227, (2019)
  3. Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan, Arranz-Otaegui, Amaia, Carretero Lara Gonzalez, Ramsey Monica N., Fuller Dorian Q., and Richter Tobias , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018/07/31, Volume 115, Issue 31, p.7925, (2018)
  4. The archaeology of Neolithic cooking traditions: archaeobotanical approaches to baking, boiling and fermenting, Fuller, Dorian Q. , Archaeology International, 2018, Issue 21, p.109-121, (2018)
  5. Control of Fire in the Paleolithic: Evaluating the Cooking Hypothesis, Wrangham, Richard , Current Anthropology, 2017/08/01, Volume 58, Issue S16, p.S303 - S313, (2017)
  6. Fire for a Reason: Barbecue at Middle Pleistocene Qesem Cave, Israel, Barkai, Ran, Rosell Jordi, Blasco Ruth, and Gopher Avi , Current AnthropologyCurrent Anthropology, 2017/08/01, Volume 58, Issue S16, p.S314 - S328, (2017)
  7. Neanderthal Cooking and the Costs of Fire, Henry, Amanda G. , Current Anthropology, 2017/08/01, Volume 58, Issue S16, p.S329 - S336, (2017)
  8. Toward a Long Prehistory of Fire, Chazan, Michael , Current Anthropology, 2017/08/01, Volume 58, Issue S16, p.S351 - S359, (2017)
  9. Impact of meat and Lower Palaeolithic food processing techniques on chewing in humans., Zink, Katherine D., and Lieberman Daniel E. , Nature, 2016 Mar 24, Volume 531, Issue 7595, p.500-3, (2016)
  10. Cognitive capacities for cooking in chimpanzees., Warneken, Felix, and Rosati Alexandra G. , Proc Biol Sci, 2015 Jun 22, Volume 282, Issue 1809, p.20150229, (2015)
  11. THE IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY CARBOHYDRATE IN HUMAN EVOLUTION., Hardy, Karen, Brand-Miller Jennie, Brown Katherine D., Thomas Mark G., and Copeland Les , Q Rev Biol, 2015 Sep, Volume 90, Issue 3, p.251-68, (2015)