Monte Verde

Monte Verde is an archaeological site in south-central Chile, southwest of Puerto Montt. He is one of the oldest traces of human settlement in the Americas. As surely applies a 14C - dating of approximately 12,000-14,000 years Before Present, but the excavators want to have found evidence of human life into 30,000 -year-old charred wood. Even the secured age shifts the beginning of the colonization of America by Paleo- Indians before the traditionally accepted as the beginning of the Clovis culture from 11,000 BP, which goes beyond those assumptions are not with the doctrine concerning the settlement history agree.

Monteverde was proposed in 2004 by the Chilean government for inclusion in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Discovery and findings

The excavations at Monte Verde started in 1977 by Mario Pino and Tom Dillehay of the Universidad Austral de Chile, and have been published by Dillehay 1986/88. The excavation site is located just under 58 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of Chinchihuapi River, a tributary of the Rio MAULLIN. As one of the few prehistoric sites found so far in America under the open sky Monteverde was preserved as the water of the river rose soon after the settlement of the place and the resulting Moor prevented the decay of organic material. So artifacts were (eg objects ) preserved for millennia.

According to Dillehay the locality was populated by about 20 to 30 people living space. A six-meter tent-like structure was built on the banks of the river and framed with driven into the ground logs and planks. The walls were covered in piles and animal skins. With reed knitting more skins were lashed to the posts to create separate living spaces. Outside the tent-like structure were two large hearths for the common use, probably for tool manufacture and handicrafts. Also, each of the living rooms had a fireplace surrounded with clay. Around this herd many stone tools and the remains of buried seeds, nuts and berries were found. Remains of forty-five different edible plant varieties were found in the settlement, about one-fifth of them came from a distance of over 240 kilometers. This suggested that the people of Monte Verde wandered as hunter-gatherers regularly in the area or contact with other groups, had lived in the vicinity of these resources among the animal materials were bones of mastodons that back then in the coastal area large Valdivian rainforest populated.

Other finds from this site include human coprolites, a footprint (probably by a child ) and that may be used as a construction material plant fibers. The age of the excavation site was determined by radiocarbon dating of charcoal and bone found.


The findings and their interpretation have been criticized in the art from the beginning. Brian Fagan held in 1991 not for sure Dillehay have ever demonstrated human stay in Monteverde, the findings could also be explained by biological / physical effects. Stuart Fidel in 1999 published an extensive analysis of the publications Dillhays and showed him numerous errors after. After extensive debates, a mediating position prevailed, the Monte Verde as one of the oldest localities of human settlement in the Americas before Clovis and recognized. The adoption of a settlement of the Chilean coast by boat across the Pacific Ocean 25,000-30,000 years ago, and thus an alternative to the theory of settlement of the Americas across the land bridge Beringia between Siberia and Alaska at the end of the last Ice Age is represented sporadically, but is not generally accepted.