The routes and timing of human occupation of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are crucial for understanding the evolution of Tibetan populations and associated paleoclimatic conditions. Many archeological sites have been found in/around the Tarim Basin, on the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Unfortunately, most of these sites are surface sites and cannot be directly dated. Their ages can only be estimated based on imprecise artifact comparisons. We recently found and dated an archeological site on a terrace along the Keriya River. Our ages indicate that the site was occupied at ~7.0–7.6 ka, making it the earliest well-dated archeological site yet identified in the Tarim Basin. This suggests that early human foragers migrated into this region prior to ~7.0–7.6 ka during the early to mid-Holocene climatic optimum, which may have provided the impetus for populating the region. We hypothesize that the Keriya River, together with the other rivers originating from the TP, may have served as access routes onto the TP for early human foragers. These rivers may also have served as stepping stones for migration further west into the now hyper-arid regions of the Tarim Basin, leading ultimately to the development of the Silk Road.