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7,000-year-old high altitude site found in Peru

A new site found 12,500 feet above sea level in Peru suggests that hunter-gatherers lived at that elevation year-round.

In the Andes Mountains of Peru, the air is gaspingly thin, the climate harsh. Now archaeologists have evidence that humans lived there full-time at least 7,000 years ago, making themselves at home in a spot twice as high as Denver.

And they were equipped with little more than stone tools.

Scientists once thought that people avoided such inhospitable regions until recently. But the new research adds to a growing body of data that humans resided permanently in the most challenging environments even before basic innovations such as farming.

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Story: Traci Watson, USA Today | Photo: Lauren A. Hayes

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