Spirit Cave Man

 Buhl Woman

Kennewick Man

 Prince of Wales Island Man

Found: 1975, in Lapa Vermelha, Brazil
Age: 11,500 years
Discoverer: Annete Emperaire
Significance: The oldest dated skeleton from the Americas, this young woman with African features may be part of the first wave of immigrants to South America.
Dozens of skeletons have emerged from the caves dotting Lagoa Santa in eastern Brazil, but one in particular has recently caused a stir -- 25 years after it was dug up from a 40-foot-deep pit.

New dating of the bones have determined that Luzia (her name pays homage to the famous African fossil "Lucy," who lived 3.2 million years ago) is the most ancient known American, with remains 11,500 years old.

Luzia died in her early 20s. Although flint tools were found nearby, hers are the only human remains in Vermelha Cave.

The anatomy of her skull and teeth - including a narrow, oval cranium, projecting face and pronounced chin - likens Luzia to Africans and Australasians. Brazilian anthropologists propose that Luzia traveled across the Bering Strait, perhaps following the coastline by boat, from northeast Asia, where her ancestors had lived for tens of thousands of years since exiting Africa. Copyright © 1999 Discovery Communications Inc.

 O T H E R   A N C I E N T   I M M I G R A N T S

Luzia  | Spirit Cave Man  | Buhl Woman
Kennewick Man  | Prince of Whales Island Man


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Last Updated 18 Feb 2000 by CSmith