Ancient Mayan Civilization Artifacts Found In World's Largest Underwater Cave

Ancient Mayan Civilization Artifacts Found In World's Largest Underwater Cave

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said that at the end of the Ice Age, water levels rose 100 meters flooding the cave system, and this provided the ideal conditions that preserved the remains of the extinct animals from the Pleistocene. "Without a doubt, it's the most important submerged archaeological site in the world".

The divers found burnt humans bones, ceramics, and wall etchings.

Amidst the chaos of finding the largest underwater cave system in the world, there lies the fear that the caves will subside due to the increasing tourist movement in the caves.

"It's very unlikely that there is another site in the world with these characteristics".

Diving with scuba gear, they have been exploring the ancient relics left in the caves over the millennia, in a project sponsored by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The explorers also discovered a shrine to the Mayan god of commerce along with a staircase that can be accessed through a sinkhole.

From 198 sites, 138 sites are believed to be from 900 to 1200 AD, and remaining 60 objects from 10,000 to 4,000 BC.

The ancient Mayans viewed caves, 'and especially ones that led to water, as extremely sacred places, ' the INAH said. It is believed that the civilization made extensive use of the cenotes for sacrificial offerings as well as travel between cities. They would have been a unsafe source of water during periods of drought.

In January, researchers from the Great Maya Aquifer Project announced that Sac Actun had become the world's largest known underwater cave system after discovering that two systems on the peninsula were actually connected.

Finally, the specialist noted that Sac Actun is a surprising and relevant archaeological site since in this space there is a record of three probable old men, two discovered some time ago and one that has just been found.

GAM director and underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda hailed the discovery as an "amazing" find.

Anda informed that the new discoveries will help the researchers to get more information about the rich culture of the Maya civilization.

Pollution is threatening the recently mapped Sac Actun cave system in the Yucatan Peninsula, a vast underground network that experts in Mexico say could be the most important underwater archaeological site in the world. Some of the cenotes discovered in this region hold religious significance for Mayan descendants.

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