From around 4000 BC Uruguay was populated principally by Charrúa and Guaraní Indians. The Charrúa migrated seasonally between coastal and inland areas, while the Guaraní settled in the eastern forests and in the north. Smaller groups also settled the region and lands were fought over vigorously. In 1516 the first Europeans to enter the territory, Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solis and his party, were killed. Other Spanish and Portuguese expeditions followed and in the late 16th century the Spanish laid claim to the Río de la Plata. In 1603 Spanish governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra is said to have shipped cattle and horses from the Paraguay region into Río de la Plata, and Spanish, Portuguese and English settlers began livestock farming. The native peoples resisted the European colonizers but were killed in large numbers in warfare and by European disease.
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