Fire has always played an important role in man's life. The refining, forging, and casting of metals, along with the preparing of food and the heating of homes, as well as the offering of sacrifices and the burning of incense, are among the things well documented as requiring the use of fire and therefore some kind of outdoor fire pit.
However, because of the destructiveness of uncontrolled fire we find that the fire pit has been in existence for a very long time. This type of pit can be identified as a surface that is lower than the surrounding area and has a non-burnable low fence around it made out of stones, bricks, metal or concrete, or as in more recent times they can be manufactured structures designed to contain the fire safely above ground. Also commonly referred to today as a fire bowl, outdoor fire pit or outdoor fireplace, the pit can be made from the earth, or can be formed by concrete, stone, brick or steel to create the space where the wood will burn. This is the defining characteristic of a fire pit, being designed to contain the components of the fire at all times.
Historically, a fire-watcher would be appointed, to prevent the fire from going out, as well as to prevent the fire from theft or from spreading. Many cultures, particularly nomadic ones would cut the turf above the pit in a turf cutting ceremony, replacing the turf afterwards to hide any evidence of the fire.
We learn a great deal of information about past cultures from the remains of used fire pits. Carbon dating from charcoal found in old fire pits helps to estimate when a region was first populated or when civilizations died out. Also, bones and seeds found in the pit indicate the type of diet that civilizations ingested during the relevant time period.
This type of outdoor fireplace has taken on many different forms and names over thousands of years, such names as: Firebowl, Chiminea and we even find the Artisanal Fire Bowl. But the main function of outdoor fire pits has remained the same - to create heat that can provide warmth, create fuel for food or eliminate excess waste, such as brush and burnable items.
Yes, fire and fire pits have always played an important role in man's life. And in our time we get the most enjoyment from a fire pit by gathering together with friends and family to tell campfire stories and cook food. An outdoor fire pit - with the sights, sounds and smells of a real crackling wood fire - is the perfect start to a memorable evening.
Will you light up your Fire Pit tonight?