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Prehistoric painting in Serra de Capivara National Park
Prehistoric painting in Serra de Capivara National Park
Fernando Tadeu Moraes

PIAUÍ - A scientific article by French and Brazilian researchers brings major new findings to the discussion on the date humans arrived to the American continent. It analyzed three archeological sites in Piauí, in northeastern Brazil, and shows evidence that the region was inhabited by humans 22,000 years ago.

The researchers' discoveries, published in the "Journal of Archaeological Science", are yet other empirical evidence against the so-called "Clovis first" paradigm, the oldest theory of the occupation of the American continent.

Proposed by U.S. archeologists in the 1930s, the model affirms that the first inhabitants walked from Asia during the Ice Age some 13,000 years ago - when there was a land bridge between the two continents - and they spread through the Americas.

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Brazil's Serra da Capivara National Park - Photo: Otávio Nogueira

The excavations were carried out between 2008 and 2011 at Toca da Tira Peia, in the Serra da Capivara National Park, in Piauí, and 113 stone artifacts were retrieved from five layers of soil.

"We found tools made from materials that cannot be found nearby. So we believe they were chosen, brought, crafted and used by humans," says Gisele Felice, of the Federal University of Vale do São Francisco.

The authors of the article believe that this means humans lived in that part of the world at least 10,000 years before previously believed.

Translation by Thomas Muello

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