Dating of evidence
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Radiocarbon dating established the wood as 33,000 years old.Material evidence gathered at Monte Verde has reshaped the way archaeologists think about the earliest inhabitants of the Americas.
Modern native inhabitants of the regions use these particular local seaweed varieties for medicinal purposes.This dating added to the evidence showing that the human settlement of the Americas pre-dates the Clovis culture by roughly 1000 years.This contradicts the previously accepted "Clovis first" model which holds that settlement of the Americas began after 13,500 BP.The Monte Verde findings were initially dismissed by most of the scientific community, but in recent years the evidence has become more accepted in some archaeological circles, The site was discovered in late 1975 when a veterinary student visited the area of Monte Verde, where severe erosion was occurring due to logging.The student was shown a strange "cow bone" collected by nearby peasants who had found it exposed in the eroded Chinchihuapi Creek. Tom Dillehay, an American anthropologist and professor at the Universidad Austral de Chile at the time, started excavating Monte Verde in 1977.A twenty-foot-long tent-like structure of wood and animal hides was erected on the banks of the creek and was framed with logs and planks staked in the ground, making walls of poles covered with animal hides.
Using ropes made of local reeds, the hides were tied to the poles creating separate living quarters within the main structure.
Therefore, it is feasible that they traveled along the coast by boat or along the shoreline, and could survive on marine resources throughout the voyage south. It "was more ephemeral and came from ancient river sediments.
Dillehay found charcoal scatters which may be the remnants of fireplaces next to possible stone and wood artifacts, and these were dated to at least 33,000BP." According to Dillehay and his team, Monte Verde II was occupied around 14,800 – 13,800 BP by about twenty to thirty people.
After a DNA analysis, it matched that of a mastodon, indicating the type of food the inhabitants ate.
Awareness about Monte Verde among the international archaeology community was greatly increased in 1989 when Dillehay delivered a presentation on Monte Verde at a conference on settlement of the Americas at the University of Maine.
Remains of forty-five different edible plant species were found within the site, over a fifth of them originating from up to 150 miles (240 km) away.