Monte Verde, Chile boasts findings of human remains from over 14,500 years ago.It suggest a small settlement that could rewrite migration theories, or it could just be a random group of people that were lost at sea and were routed to the South of Chile.One thing that makes perfect sense about Ancient Andean societies is that they likely lived off of the once abundant coastlines that provided numerous types of mussels, crustaceans,sea lions and plenty of other creatures from the sea.This more than likely kept them hugging the coastline and migrating to the North as evidence is found in places such as Iquique and Arica. In Peru, civilizations such as Norte Chico and Aspero show signs of seafood as the main diet.”Research at the site led to the controversial “Maritime Foundations of Andean culture” theory, which suggests that the initial development of ancient Peruvian culture was based on fishing, shellfish collecting, and hunting sea mammals, rather than agriculture”(Moseley,1973). Did Andean society stem from the mountain regions of the Andes or from migration from Pacific travelers? “Carbon dating of the communal structures of the local sites surrounding the Supe Valley places Aspero within 3700~2500 cal. B.C. or the middle to late Archaic Period“(Ruiz,2008). The sheer size and haunting presence of the Andes mountains would serve as a reverent and feared place to venture into.This would create societies and cultures that thrived off of the offerings from the sea. Shells from mussels would eventually hold value for trade and decorations in the highlands.The earlier cultures depended heavily on the abundance of the sea. It wasn’t until later that we see irrigation from glacial streams and agricultural practices that define hunter gatherers in Andean societies.If you did not know how to farm, you stick with what worked. It would be nice to see the results from comparative studies between fish remains at trash sites on the coast and from potatoes and other agricultural products from the mountains and the highlands. This would shed more light and could also provide solid evidence of ancient Andean origins. In regards to migration theories ,other groups may have landed on the Western side of the continent in early migration routes,but wouldn’t this rule out Heyerdahl’s theory? Yes and no. It is possible that indigenous oceanic travelers could have gotten caught in the Humbolt current and were spit out in various places on the Eastern coast of South America but at an earlier time,before Heyerdahl’s claim.It doesn’t really matter right? It would be really idiotic to think that the Pacific wasn’t an ancient highway that linked Polynesia, Oceania, and South America through trade and even by accident.I think not knowing for certain is kind of entertaining and opens up the imagination, to where we must dig deeper in search of the truth.
Moseley, Edward; Gordon R. Willey (1973). “Aspero, Peru: A Reexamination of the Site and Its Implications”. American Antiquity. American Antiquity, Vol. 38, No. 4. 38 (4): 452–468. doi:10.2307/279151. JSTOR 279151
Ruiz, A. (2008). “Power and the Emergence of Complex Polities in the Peruvian Preceramic”. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association