Apr 11, 2007
MEXICO CITY, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Mexican archaeologists found remains of two women and a man that can be traced to more than 10,000 years ago in the Mayan area of Tulum, Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute said in a statement on Tuesday.
The remains were being examined by laboratories in Britain, the United States and Mexico, all of which had said the remains were people between 10,000 and 14,500 years ago, said Carmen Rojas, an archaeologist quoted in the statement.
"This makes southeastern Mexico one of the few areas with a proven prehistoric presence in America," said Rojas.
The remains were found in the Las Palmas, El Templo and Naharoncaves, in an area previously thought to be uninhabited. They are not Mayas because they do not have the classic Mayan skull deformation.
The woman found in Naharon cave, 368 meters from its entrance and 22.6 meters underground, was 1.41 meters' tall, weighed around 53 kg and was between 20 and 30 years old when she died. The woman found in Las Palmas cave was between 44 and 50 when she died.
The body found in El Templo cave was a man aged between 25 and 30. His body was the least well preserved because it had been eroded and most of its organic material was gone.
Archaeologists have worked since 2002 to exhume the bodies from underwater caverns, said the statement.
In the past the region was dry but the caves were flooded due in the last thaw of the Pleistocene ice age, it said.
Archaeological finds showed the region was probably used as a refuge and a graveyard, said the Institute. The archaeologists also found campfire remains.