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Humans may have reached Chile by 18,500 years ago


For many decades, it was believed that America was first populated about 13,000 years ago by a group of hunters from Asia, also known as the Clovis Culture. Nevertheless, in recent investigations in Monte Verde, southern Chile, archaeologists have found tools that reveal the existence of human settlements that precede the arrival of this old culture.

Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University has been working at Monte Verde since 1977. It was believed that the Clovis people were the first to arrive in America about 13,000 years ago, but Dillehay’s work at Monte Verde helped scientists to push back that date. Now he leads an international team of archaeologists, geologists, and botanists in an archaeological and geological survey in Monte Verde where they found cooking pits with burned and unburned bones and scatters of simple stone tools.

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