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The name "Colombia" is derived from the last name of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón in Spanish). It was conceived by the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to all the New World, but especially to those portions under Spanish and Portuguese rule. The name was later adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819, formed after independence. When Venezuela declared its independence from Spain in 1830, "Colombia" became a generic term used to refer to all areas under military occupation by Spain within their New World empire. The earliest evidences of human presence around current day Colombia are approximately 10,000 years old and have been found especially along coastal areas like Cartagena or Barranquilla; most were probably related with Holocene megafauna extinction which took place at end of Pleistocene age (between 12k-11k yrs ago) when sea levels were much higher than today causing changes on climate that led towards disappearance for many species including giants sloths and mammoths among others .