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Archaeologists think early humans migrated along this coast over 14,000 years ago. They spent time along the coast as well as in the inland areas of Chile, including a settlement called Monte Verde.
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Courtesy of Tom Dillehay, Vanderbilt University

Ancient Beachcombers May Have Traveled Slowly
News story originally written on May 8, 2008

Monte Verde, which is located in southern Chile, is the earliest known human settlement in the Americas. Humans migrates along this coast more than 14,000 years ago, but archaeologists aren't sure how quickly this migration happened.

Monte Verde is located 50 miles from the Pacific coast, but researchers have found nine species of seaweed and marine algae in the settlement. The researchers also found food that comes from inland areas, including gomphothere meat (meat from an extinct elephant-like animal that was common in the Americas 12-1.6 million years ago). Because of this, researchers think the immigrants moved back and forth between the coast and inland areas.

"We have no hard evidence that people migrated either rapidly or slowly along the coast," said Tom Dillehay, professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University, who led the study.

Last modified July 7, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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