News of the WeekArchaeology

New Questions About Ancient American Site

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Science  22 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5440, pp. 657-659
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5440.657

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With a belligerence rarely seen in scientific spats, American researcher Stuart Fiedel has landed the first punch in a new battle over the authenticity of what may be the oldest archaeological site in the Americas: southern Chile's Monte Verde. In the November/December issue of the popular magazine Scientific American Discovering Archaeology, Fiedel contends that the final report on Monte Verde is riddled with errors and omissions that make evaluation of the evidence all but impossible. The original authors counter that the errors are simply ones of bookkeeping, but it seems clear that clouds have gathered over Monte Verde once again.