None of the letters in response to Thomson et al. (1) undermine our conclusions. However, several issues have been raised, which we address in this reply. Beavan (2) dismisses some of the concerns that have been raised about the accuracy of the radiocarbon dates of the El Arenal-1 chicken bones, which are immediately pre-Columbian. Although procedures, such as ultrafiltration of amino acids, are common practice for suboptimal bone samples, such as the oldest El Arenal-1 sample, further complex issues, including dietary sources and the potential for indirect marine carbon input (3), mean that a detailed assessment of the site through multiple further dates would be required to exclude the possibility that the specimens might actually be post-Columbian. This approach seems particularly advisable given that analogous issues were raised about a surprisingly early date for New Zealand colonization based on Pacific rat bone dates generated at the same laboratory using similar procedures (4), which were subsequently shown to be erroneously old (5).