Archaeological evidence suggests the earliest settlements of hunter-gatherers in Chile date from around 10,500 BC. They were probably the descendents of Paleo-Indians who crossed from Siberia by way of the Bering Strait (at various times a land bridge). Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the indigenous peoples included the Atacameno, living in small settlements in the northern deserts, the Araucanians, farmers in the more temperate valleys of central Chile, and the Chono, Alacaluf and Yahgan tribes from the mountainous southern areas.
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