“Pre-Maya” Bones Found In Mexico
The discovery of a ancient human skull at the bottom of a lake in Mexcio may support the Solutrean hypothesis, which states the first humans to live on the North American continent emigrated from Europe and not the Bering Straits.
The once-in-a-lifetime find was made at the bottom of a pit located more than 2,000 feet (610 meters) below sea level called Hoyo Negro (Spanish for “Black Hole”), located inside the Aktun-Hu cave system off the Yucatan Peninsula coast in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, reports National Geographic. Divers Alex Alvarez, Franco Attolini, and Alberto (Beto) Nava were surveying underwater cavernsfor PET (Projecto Espeleológico de Tulum), which specializes in such research.
The team initially found megafauna remains and mastadon bone at the bottom of the approximately 200-feet [60 meters] deep and 120-feet [36 meters] wide pit, spurring the need for more investigation of the pit.
“The immense size of Hoyo Negro is difficult to comprehend. Once you enter the pit you cannot see the floor below, and all that can be seen in front of you is a black void — an inviting entrance to the abyss, ” Franco told National Geographic.
Then, at 140 feet [43 meters], the team discovered a human skull.
“I had thought we already had a great discovery after finding the remains of several Pleistocene animals [….] but finding a human skull was totally amazing for us,” Alex said, calling his find “the Holy Grail of cave exploration.”
University of Yucatan in Merida (UADY) archaeologist Guillermo de Anda said the skull looks “pre-Maya” after examining it. He did not say if its structure indicated if it was Beringian or European in nature.
The skull’s “location within the cave, and its position relative to the mastodon remains, are suggestive of its antiquity,” writes National Geographic.
Researchers believe the area was dry land more than 10,000 years ago, which was flooded when polar ice caps melted.