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Prehistoric human skeleton found in Mexican cave flooded at end of last ice age

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.

Octavio del Rio stated 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 prepare by way of the jungle.

Given the space from the cave entrance, the skeleton couldn’t have gotten there with out fashionable diving tools so have to be over 8,000 years previous, Del Rio stated, referring to the period when rising sea ranges flooded the caves.

“There it’s. We don’t know if the physique was deposited there or if that was the place this particular person died,” stated Del Rio.

He stated the skeleton was situated about 26 toes underwater, about 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 often called cenotes on the nation’s Caribbean coast, and specialists say a few of these caves are threatened by the Mexican authorities’s Maya Prepare tourism venture.

Del Rio, who has labored with the Nationwide Institute of Anthropology and Historical past on tasks prior to now, stated he has notified the institute of the invention.

The institute didn’t instantly reply to questions on whether or not it intends to discover the location.

Aquatic archaeologist Octavio del Rio movies a pre-historic human skeleton partly coated by sediment in an underwater collapse Tulum, Mexico on Saturday.Peter Broger / AP

However Del Rio stated on Tuesday that institute archaeologist Carmen Rojas advised him the location is registered and might be investigated by the institute’s Quintana Roo state department Holocene Archaeology Undertaking.

He stated the cave — whose location he didn’t reveal due to a concern the location may very well be looted or disturbed — was close to the place the federal government has lower down a swath of jungle to put prepare tracks, and may very well be collapsed, contaminated or closed off by the constructing venture and subsequent growth.

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

Del Rio has been exploring the area for 3 a long time and, in 2002, he participated within the discovery and cataloguing of stays often called The Girl of Naharon, who died across the similar time, or maybe earlier, than Naia — the almost 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 Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is racing to complete his Maya Prepare 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 check the traditional stays.

Activists say the heavy, high-speed rail venture will fragment the coastal jungle and infrequently run 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.

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

The 950-mile Maya Prepare line is supposed to run in a tough loop across the Yucatan Peninsula, connecting seaside resorts and archaeological websites.

Essentially the most controversial stretch cuts a greater than 68-mile swath by way of the jungle between the resorts of Cancun and Tulum.

Del Rio stated the route by way of the jungle must be deserted and the prepare must be constructed over the already-impacted coastal freeway between Cancun and Tulum, as was initially deliberate.

Lopez Obrador deserted the freeway route after lodge house owners voiced objections and price and visitors interruptions grew to become a priority.

“What we wish is for them to alter to route at this spot, due to the archaeological finds which were made there, and their significance,” stated Del Rio.

“They need to take the prepare away from there and put it the place they stated they have been going to construct earlier than, on the freeway … an space that has already been affected, devastated.”

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