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Early cultural evidence from Monte Verde in Chile


The entry of the first Asians into the New World is generally thought to have occurred no earlier than 12,000 years ago1,2. Recent archaeological evidence from South America suggests that the migration from Asia to North America might have taken place much earlier. This evidence comes from the Brazilian site of Boqueirao do Sitio da Pedra Fur ad a3,4, with a long cultural sequence possibly extending as far back as 32,000 yr BP, and the Chilean site of Monte Verde5,6. This latter site has one well-documented cultural episode radiocarbon dated at 13,000 yr BP7 and another possible one at 33,000 yr BP. We report here two carbon-14 dates from charcoal taken from cultural features associated with the older materials of 33,000 yr BP. These findings provide additional evidence that people colonized the Americas much earlier than was previously thought.

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Dillehay, T., Collins, M. Early cultural evidence from Monte Verde in Chile. Nature 332, 150–152 (1988).

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