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The Power of Fire

The Power of Fire
Learn the science and mythology behind fire, from chemical reaction to act of magic.

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DIG INTO HISTORY July-August 2017

Title: The Power of Fire

Legend has it that the god Prometheus gave humans the gift of fire, infuriating Zeus. The gift elevated them beyond animals and closer to the gods. So, what is the power of fire? This issue of DIG explores how fire left its mark on history.

Learn the science and mythology behind fire, from chemical reaction to act of magic. Follow the history of fireworks and gunpowder, or the trail of famous fires throughout time—as well as methods of firefighting! Why do stories say that salamanders are fireproof? Where did phoenixes come from? Read these articles to find out:

“Prometheus’ Gift” by Liz Johnson

“Fire—What Is It?” by Bert Fisher

“Trailblazers, Tricksters, and Talking Animals” by Ellen Seiden

“Fire Magic” by Mark Rose

“For Joy… and Sorrow” by Gordon Grimwade

“Meet the Salamander” by Regina Hansen

“Out of the Ashes” by Louise Chipley Slavicek

“From Buckets to Drones” by Regina Hansen


The “Let’s Go Dig-ging” section includes information on the excavations of sites shaped by fire. Discover how people learned to cook with fire in the Paleolithic Era, see the aftermath of catastrophic fires, and discover how fire let people create tools and goods with these fascinating articles :

“Fire Lights the Way”

“According to the Record” by Emily Abbink

“Catastrophic Calamities” by Eti Bonn-Muller

 “Fire As a Tool” by Emily Abbink

“Pond Muck Shares its Story” by A. Gwynn Henderson


Regular features include: Five Facts/ Map, The Calliope Chronicles, Fun With Words, Interestingly…, What’s Wrong Here?, Ask Away!, This & That, Off the Shelf/On the Net, the Adventures of Dr. Dig, and Artifacts.