Letter | Published:

Carbon-14 dates point to man in the Americas 32,000 years ago

Nature volume 321, pages 769771 (19 June 1986) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

The view that man did not arrive on the American continent before the last glaciation has been supported by the fact that until now the known and dated archaeological sites have not been of very great antiquity. But now we report radiocarbon dates from a Brazilian site which establish that early man was living in South America at least 32,000 years ago. These new findings come from the large painted rockshelter of Boqueirao do Sitio da Pedra Furada, the walls and the ceiling of which are decorated with a rich set of prehistoric paintings. We have excavated a sequence containing abundant lithic industry and well-structured hearths at all levels. Carbon-14 dates from charcoal establish a continuous chronology indicating human occupation from 6,160±130 to 32,160±100 years BP. A date of 17,000±400 BP, obtained from charcoal found in a level with fragments of a pictograph fallen from the walls, testifies to the antiquity of rupestral art in this region of Brazil.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Proc. 10th Congresso UICPYP Mexico, Commission XII, 101–110 (1980); in New Evidence for the Pleistocene Peopling of Americas Orono: Center for Early Man Studies (ed. Shutler, R. Jr) (Sage, Beverly Hills, in the press).

  2. 2.

    thesis, Univ. Paris I (1984).

  3. 3.

    Scient. Am. 251 (4), 100–109 (1984).

  4. 4.

    & Occasional Papers I, 303–305 (Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, 1978).

  5. 5.

    & Scient. Am. 250 (5)104–108 (1984).

  6. 6.

    & World Archaeol. 7, 160 (1975).

  7. 7.

    et al. Science 220, 1271–1273 (1983).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Préhistorique d'Amérique, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, 44 rue de la Tour, 75016 Paris, France

    • N. Guidon
  2. Centre des Faibles Radioactivités, Laboratoire Mixte CNRS-CEA, Boite Postale 1, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France

    • G. Delibrias

Authors

  1. Search for N. Guidon in:

  2. Search for G. Delibrias in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/321769a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.