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Man’s Discovery of Fire

The history of fire pits starts close to when man first discovered fire.  When fire was first discovered it was used as a means of keeping warm, keeping away predators and as a method of cooking and the fire was built on top of the ground. However, after some period of time, it was discovered that if a fire was built in a hole in the ground, it was easier to control the fire, preventing the spread of the fire and increasing the heat output. Also by encircling the fire with stones again it prevented the spread of fire and allowed for greater control of the fire.

There is archaeological evidence from Israel and South Africa that fire pits were used over two hundred thousand years ago in the Middle Paleolithic period. The evidence found included a circle of stones found in caves.

Historically (and still today) large fire pits are used in ceremonies whether they are religious, festival or harvest celebrations another word for this. Cultures who used fire pits in this was included Polynesian, Eastern Indians, and Peruvians.

The initial method of cooking over a fire pit was to spear the food with an implement and hold it over the fire to cook. At some stage, the grill was invented and the first ‘bbq’ fire pit designed.

The design of fire pits changed over time in accordance with mans development. Thus once man could mould metals fire pits were made that stood above ground, more like what we today consider fire pits to be.

The Dakota Fire Pit

In the history of fire pits there is one particularly interesting fire pit is the Dakota fire pit. This fire pit was used right back at nomad times but is still used today. The advantage of the Dakota fire pit is that it releases less smoke and has low flames. The Dakota fire pit is constructed by digging two holes, approximately 30cm apart. The smaller hole is dug at an angle below ground until it reaches the larger hole in which the fire is built.

This clever design results in the small hole providing oxygen to the bottom of the fire, thus it increases the temperature of the fire and provides less smoke. So the Dakota fire pit is not only clever it is very useful if you are looking for heat and cooking but don’t want to be detected by any enemies who would otherwise have smelt the smoke or seen the flames.

history of fire pitsBy Pashute [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Modern Fire Pits

Modern fire pits come in all shapes and sizes, so much so that it is often difficult to decide which one to purchase. Here at The FirePit Company, we have made it simple for you. We sell only round cast-iron fire pit bowls with different fire pit stands. After researching the different fire pits available in the Australian market we determined that this simple yet attractive design was both cost-effective and efficient. The larger size of some of our fire pits also means that they are somewhat of a statement, which is really what one is looking for when entertaining or enjoying with your family the heat and mesmerising flickering flames of the fire, before you use a fire pit grill and turn your fire pit into a fire pit bbq!

In relation to the history of fire and the history of fire pits, did you know….?

It has been argued that by cooking plant foods this led to an increase in the size of the human brain…