Researchers Find Mayan Relics In World’s Largest Underwater Cave

Researchers Find Mayan Relics In World’s Largest Underwater Cave

Mexican archaeologists have found numerous Mayan relics and fossils during dives in what is probably the largest underwater cave system in the world. Among other things, they presented remains of bears and giant sloths, but also an elaborate shrine honoring the Mayan god of war and trade.

Scientists found in January that the two major underwater cave systems on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, are connected. According to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), with a total length of 347 kilometers they form the largest known cave system of this type in the world.

Mexican underwater archaeologists have found numerous Mayan relics and fossils in what is probably the largest underwater cave system in the world. According to the archaeologists, the finds allow conclusions to be drawn back to the Pleistocene, which dates back 2.6 million to 11,700 years. Gomphotheres were also found among the animal remains. The now extinct proboscidea were ancestors of the elephant.

Items left behind by people include pottery and wall paintings, in addition to cremated human bones. In the photo is a mask of the Mayan god of war and trade.

This vessel was also among the finds that archaeologists found in the cave system. With a total length of 347 kilometers, it is the largest such cave system in the world, according to the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

The underwater world holds an impressive amount of archaeological finds and it is amazing how well they are preserved, said underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda. A number of details can also be seen on this mask.

This fist, which belonged to a statue, is also well preserved. The researchers said a staircase was built in the middle of the jungle to access the Mayan shrine in the Sac Actun cave. Evidence of ritual celebrations has been found around hundreds of other cave entrances. The Maya considered caves “and especially those that led to water to be highly sacred places,” explained the INAH.

According to the scientists, the water levels in the caves varied over time. In times of drought, they might have been used as a source of drinking water – though some people and animals never found out again. Like apparently this Pleistocene bear whose remains the researchers found. The institute announced further investigations of the underwater caves.

It is probably the longest underwater cave in the world: divers have discovered a huge cave system on the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan.

The cave near the famous Mayan site Tulum is 347 kilometers long. The two already known caves Sac Actun and Dos Ojos are connected, the researchers discovered.

The underwater labyrinth could provide new insights into the Mayan culture. Archaeologists spoke of the “most important archaeological site under water”.

Yucatan is well-known among divers for the cenotes – impressive underwater caves that stand out due to their special rock formations.

The Maya used the cenotes as wells or as places of religious sacrifice. Researchers believe that the cave systems contributed significantly to the development of the Maya civilization.

Evidence of ritual celebrations has been found around hundreds of other cave entrances. The Maya considered caves “and especially those that led to water to be highly sacred places,” explained the INAH. The institute announced further investigations of the underwater caves.

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