The 347 kilometres cave has unearthed remains of giant sloths, ancient elephants and humans. The archaeological discovery also contains lost secrets of the Mayan people and a shrine to the Mayan god of war and commerce.
In January, researchers from the Great Maya Aquifer Project shared their discovery of the world’s largest underwater cave system in Yucatán after realising a link between 2 giant cave systems, the Dos Ojos and the previously discovered Sac Actun. The team have now released their findings to the public.
The team led by underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History discovered 15,000-year-old remains of giant sloths, proto-elephants called gomphotheres, and bears. There was also a shine to the Mayan god of war and commerce.
They found more than 120 artifact sites which included burnt human bones, pottery, and wall art. It is thought that some of these artifacts date back more than 12,000 years.
Archaeologists have been searching these caves for decades, and the fact that they have found so much culture, life and history embedded in its underworld is truly remarkable. The magnitude of the Sac Actun means that this could be an almost endless search, meaning there is a good chance that many more mystical objects could surface in the future.
“It is very unlikely that there is another site in the world with these characteristics,” De Anda said in a statement. “There is an impressive amount of archaeological artifacts inside, and the level of preservation is also impressive.”
While this discovery is remarkable, experts believe the cave system could be under threat by local pollution.
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