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No. 87: May-Jun 1993

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The 50,000-year-old americans of pedra furada

French archeologists (not American) have established to the satisfaction of most European archeologists (not American) that humans were present in Brazil at least 50,000 years ago. F. Parenti, with N. Guidon, presented their data at a recent Paris meeting. The main site studied was the sandstone rock shelter of Pedra Furada, which is one of several hundred painted rock shelters discovered in northeastern Brazil. Guidon began her work in 1978; Parenti, in 1984. The fourvolume, 7-kilogram report (actually Parenti's doctoral thesis) concentrates on three lines of evidence:

(Bahn, Paul G.; "50,000-Year-Old Americans of Pedra Furada," Nature, 362:114, 1993.)

Comment. With the Brazil and Chile (Monte Verde) sites looking more and more convincing, it is reasonable to ask why even older sites have not been found in North America, which is nearer the famous Bering Land Bridge. As a matter of fact, controverted human artifacts have been found at such sites as Calico Hills, California, which are claimed to be much older than 50,000 years. It will be interesting to see how the Pedra Furada data are received in the States.

From Science Frontiers #87, MAY-JUN 1993. � 1993-2000 William R. Corliss