Ancient skeleton found in underwater cave in Mexico threatened by Maya Train project

0
23


A prehistoric human skeleton has been present in a cave system that was flooded on the finish of the final ice age 8,000 years in the past, in keeping with a cave-diving archaeologist on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Archaeologist Octavio del Rio mentioned he and fellow diver Peter Broger noticed the shattered cranium and skeleton partly coated by sediment in a cave close to the place the Mexican authorities plans to construct a high-speed vacationer practice by means of the jungle.

Fragments of a prehistoric human skeleton found in an underwater cave in Tulum, Mexico
This picture reveals fragments of a prehistoric human skeleton partly coated by sediment in an underwater collapse Tulum, Mexico, Sept. 10, 2022. The cave system was flooded on the finish of the final ice age 8,000 years in the past, in keeping with an archaeologist and cave diver Octavio del Rio, and is situated close to the place the federal government plans to construct a high-speed vacationer practice by means of the jungle.

Octavio del Rio / AP


Given the gap from the cave entrance, the skeleton could not have gotten there with out trendy diving tools, so it have to be over 8,000 years previous, Del Rio mentioned, referring to the period when rising sea ranges flooded the caves.

“There it’s. We do not know if the physique was deposited there or if that was the place this individual died,” mentioned Del Rio. He mentioned that the skeleton was situated about 8 meters (26 ft) underwater, a few half-kilometer (one third of a mile) into the cave system.

A number of the oldest human stays in North America have been found within the sinkhole caves referred to as “cenotes” on the nation’s Caribbean coast, and specialists say a few of these caves are threatened by the Mexican authorities’s Maya Practice tourism venture.

Del Rio, who has labored with the Nationwide Institute of Anthropology and Historical past on initiatives prior to now, mentioned he had notified the institute of the invention. The institute didn’t instantly reply to questions on whether or not it meant to discover the positioning.

However Del Rio mentioned Tuesday that institute archaeologist Carmen Rojas advised him that the positioning was registered and can be investigated by the institute’s Quintana Roo state department Holocene Archaeology Venture.

He pressured that the cave — whose location he didn’t reveal due to a worry the positioning could possibly be looted or disturbed — was close to the place the federal government has reduce down a swath of jungle to put practice tracks, and could possibly be collapsed, contaminated or closed off by the constructing venture and subsequent improvement.

“There’s much more research that needs to be executed with a purpose to accurately interpret” the discover, Del Rio mentioned, noting that “courting, some form of photographic research and a few assortment” can be wanted to find out precisely how previous the skeleton is.

Aquatic archaeologist Octavio del Rio films a prehistoric human skeleton partly covered by sediment in an underwater cave in Tulum, Mexico
Aquatic archaeologist Octavio del Rio movies a prehistoric human skeleton partly coated by sediment in an underwater collapse Tulum, Mexico, Sept. 10, 2022. 

Peter Broger / AP


Del Rio has been exploring the area for 3 a long time, and in 2002, he participated within the discovery and cataloguing of stays referred to as The Girl of Naharon, who died across the similar time, or maybe earlier, than Naia — the practically full skeleton of a younger lady who died round 13,000 years in the past. It was found in a close-by cave system in 2007.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is racing to complete his Maya Practice venture within the remaining two years of his time period over the objections of environmentalists, cave divers and archaeologists. They are saying his haste will permit little time to review the traditional stays.

Activists say the heavy, high-speed rail venture will fragment the coastal jungle and can run typically above the delicate limestone caves, which — as a result of they’re flooded, twisty and infrequently extremely slim — can take a long time to discover.

Caves alongside a part of the coast have already got been broken by building above them, with cement pilings used to assist the load above.

The 950-mile (1,500-kilometer) Maya Practice line is supposed to run in a tough loop across the Yucatan Peninsula, connecting seashore resorts and archaeological websites.

Essentially the most controversial stretch cuts a greater than 68-mile (110-kilometer) swath by means of the jungle between the resorts of Cancun and Tulum.

Del Rio mentioned the route by means of the jungle needs to be deserted and the practice needs to be constructed over the already-impacted coastal freeway between Cancun and Tulum, as was initially deliberate.

López Obrador deserted the freeway route after resort house owners voiced objections, and price and site visitors interruptions turned a priority.

“What we would like is for them to vary to route at this spot, due to the archaeological finds which were made there, and their significance,” mentioned Del Rio. “They need to take the practice away from there and put it the place they mentioned they have been going to construct earlier than, on the freeway … an space that has already been affected, devastated.”



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here