THE MAPUCHE INDIANS of southern Chile tell of the first people in their land. "Our ancestors looked at every path closely and deliberately. They tried them all as many times as they thought necessary. Many paths were long and led nowhere. Some paths were joyful journeys and made the people strong. Others weakened the people and made them curse their lives. We often ask our ancestral spirits if we Mapuche are now choosing the right path. They say time will give us the answer."
Here, in the Mapuche homeland, time seems to have directed archaeologist Tom Dillehay to the right path. Against all odds, Dillehay finally broke the Clovis barrier at a site he calls Monte Verde ("Green Meadow").
Tom Dillehay was drawn into the Clovis/pre-Clovis fray in 1976, when a team of local lumbermen was cutting roadways through the cool upland for-