| 7,000-Year-Old Ancient Extreme Altitude Site Once Occupied By Humans Discovered in Andes Mountains
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. "I know it's very difficult for me to live there," says archaeologist Randall Haas, co-author of a new study about the Andean settlement and an archaeologist about to join the University of California, Davis. "I cannot imagine if I were the first person to show up there." The place studied by Haas and his team is so spartan that it seems hard to believe anyone chose to live there. Now a farm field, the archaeological site called Soro Mik'aya Patjxa