Human skeletal remains dating back to around 8,270 years have been found near a lake in Argentina, scientists have said.
The remains were found together with the bones of guanacos from 7,000 years ago and ceramics between 1,500 and 2,300 years old on a lakeside beach in Venado Tuerto town in Santa Fe province, 375 km northwest of Buenos Aires.
Anthropologists from the National University of Rosario had made the find in 2003, when heavy flooding from the lake left the remains on the surface.
The remains were then sent to a laboratory in Arizona, US, that studied the bones and discovered that their antiquity was far greater than what the Argentine archaeologists had thought.
“From the characteristics of the materials, the technology and the lack of any elements connected with European populations, we judged their antiquity to be a minimum of 500 years old and a maximum of 3,000 years,” one of the directors of the project, Juan David Avila, said.
“What is interesting is that this is the first dating of such antiquity ever made here in Santa Fe. This is the oldest material recovered in the province up to now,” Avila said.
The scientists are now doing research to determine to which native people the skeletal remains belonged.