Ancient Mayan Artifacts: Massive Underwater Caves Reveal Staggering History

Archaeologists exploring the word’s biggest flooded cave in Mexico have discovered ancient human remains at least 9,000 years old and the bones of animals who roamed the earth during the last Ice Age.

A group of divers recently connected two underwater caverns in eastern Mexico to reveal what is believed to be the biggest flooded cave on the planet, a discovery that could help shed new light on the ancient Maya civilization.

The Yucatan peninsula is studded with monumental relics of the Maya people, whose cities drew upon an extensive network of sinkholes linked to subterranean waters known as cenotes.

Researchers say they found 248 cenotes at the 347-kilometer cave system known as Sac Actun, near the beach resort of Tulum. Of the 200 archaeological sites they have discovered there, around 140 are Mayan.

Ancient Mayan Artifacts: Massive Underwater Caves Reveal Staggering HistoryPhoto © Gran Acuifero Maya, INAH

Some cenotes acquired particular religious significance to the Maya, whose descendants continue to inhabit the region.

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