- from South America
Remember Hansel and Gretel? They left a trail of breadcrumbs as they walked through the forest.
As the story goes, their idea was to follow the breadcrumbs to find their way back home. Scientists do something similar to find their way to information about South America’s earliest peoples. But instead of using breadcrumbs, they use the artifacts and the DNA of bones they discover. Artifacts are objects people leave behind. DNA is genetic material.
Accordingly, many scientists suggest that the earliest peoples may have arrived along the west coast of the southern part of South America anywhere from 18,500 to 14,500 years ago. Over time, several civilizations developed and then faded in this part of the continent. But their descendants were among the people who met the Europeans when they arrived in the 16th century.