The Late Pleistocene Colonization of South America: An Interdisciplinary Perspective


  • Francisco Rothhammer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Instituto de Alta Investigación, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica Chile
    2. Programa de Genetica Humana, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
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  • Tom D. Dillehay

    1. Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
    2. Instituto de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile
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*Corresponding author: Prof. Francisco Rothhammer, Instituto de Alta Investigacion, Universidad de Tarapaca, Arica 1001236, Chile. Tel: 56-058-230334; Fax: 56-058-255371; E-mail:


In this article, we briefly review scenarios for the first peopling of the New World, including the Clovis First/Single Origin, Tripartite, and Dual Migration models. We then discuss bioanthropological, molecular genetic, archaeological and biogeographic evidence for the peopling of the continent. To conclude, we draw on different lines of evidence to make inferences concerning the timing, direction, and type of early human dispersion in South America.