Sandweiss speaks with ScienceNews about Peru migration

Archaeologist Daniel Sandweiss, a cooperating professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, talked with ScienceNews about new findings that indicate the earliest settlers of the Americas perhaps curtailed their coastal migration to stay in the area that’s now northwestern Peru. Excavations at two seaside sites in Peru determined that people intermittently stayed there from about 15,000 to 8,000 years ago, according to anthropologist Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University. Remains of avocado, beans and chili peppers at ancient campsites — foods that were gathered or grown at inland locations — suggest that people transported these foods to the coast, according to the article. Sandweiss said that accumulating evidence supports the notion that early Americans favored the coast over an inland existence. An ice-free corridor into North America’s interior may not have formed before 12,600 years ago, after people had reached Peru and Chile.