Monte Verde

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-41.5, -73.2
Date range max:
18,500 Bp
Date range min:
14,500 Bp

Monte Verde is an archaeological site in the Llanquihue Province in southern Chile, located near Puerto Montt, Southern Chile, which has been dated to as early as 18,500 cal BP (16,500 BC). Previously, the widely accepted date for early occupation at Monte Verde was about 14,500 years cal BP. This dating added to the evidence showing that the human settlement of the Americas pre-dates the Clovis culture by roughly 1,000 years (or 5,000 years if the 18,500 BP dates are confirmed). This contradicts the previously accepted "Clovis first" model which holds that settlement of the Americas began after 13,500 cal BP. The Monte Verde findings were initially dismissed by most of the scientific community, but the evidence then became more accepted in archaeological circles.

Paleoecological evidence of the coastal landscape's ability to sustain human life further supports a "coastal migration" model. Dating of rock surfaces and animal bones suggests the coastal corridor was deglaciated and became habitable after 17,000 years BP. Although testing coastal migration theories can be difficult due to sea level rise since the last glacial maximum, archaeologists are increasingly willing to accept the possibility that the initial settlement of the Americas occurred via coastlines.