When and how did the first human beings settle the American continent?
Numerous data, from archaeological researches as well as from
palaeogenetics, anthropological and environmental studies, have led to
partially contradictory interpretations in recent years, often because
of the lack of a reliable chronological framework. The present study
contributes to the establishment of such a framework using luminescence
techniques to date a Brazilian archaeological site, the Toca da Tira
Peia. It constitutes an exemplary case study: all our observations and
measurements tend to prove the good integrity of the site and the
anthropological nature of the artifacts and we are confident in the
accuracy of the luminescence dating results. All these points underline
the importance of the Toca da Tira Peia. The results bring new pieces of
evidence of a human presence in the north-east of Brazil as early as
20,000 BC. The Toca da Tira Peia thus contributes to the rewriting of
the history of the peopling of the American continent.