Yucatan Hides the Largest Underwater Archaeological Site in the World

An important feature is the amount of archaeological elements that are there and the level of preservation they contain,” explained Guillermo de Anda, director of the research project The Great Mayan Aquifer at a press conference, to announce the recent findings that are part of the underground investigation project of the Yucatan peninsula.

These discoveries, explained the collaborator of the National Geographic Society, aim to strengthen the understanding of the delicate connection between the aquifer, the environment and man, through the exploration, documentation and dissemination of natural wealth and cultural heritage that contains, what derives in its adequate protection.

Along with Roberto Junco, deputy director of Underwater Archeology at INAH and Robert Schmittner, head of underwater exploration of the Great Maya Aquifer, De Anda, detailed that one of the great findings was that the connection between two important sites was established: Sac Actun and Dos Ojos (Cenotes located in the state of Quintana Roo) that give rise to the largest flooded cave in the world, with an area of ​​347 kilometers, which could grow according to the research being carried out.

Regarding the importance of this system the archaeologist stressed that it is a place that has unique characteristics: millions of cubic liters of fresh water, biodiversity and endemic fauna (highlighting thousands of crustaceans that are not visible to the naked eye) and also have 248 cenotes and 198 archaeological contexts.

He stressed that there is also another great discovery, it is two human remains, one of them is a well-preserved skeleton, and the other is a specific skull that is in the process of being studied; both were located at considerable distances from the entrance of their caves.

Other findings, he said, is that DNA has been obtained from a tooth more than 10 years old, has been found that was not imagined that there were bears and has been able to establish hypotheses about human interaction and wildlife extinct

The specialist added that another finding was that this place indicates that it is the route of pilgrimage and Mayan exchange used a lot by the merchants, so one of the hypotheses is that this place was a ritual and sacred point that would make the cave a temple for the God of Commerce.

“It’s a place that could have been used for rituals. In addition, we found an incense burner, incredible temples in the areas and rooms where we have found offerings and pottery vessels. ”

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.

“We are at the beginning of the works in this area which is very important since Sac Actun, which means white cave in Mayan, is a huge archaeological site that still has much to discover, to document, but still more to protect, preserve and conserve. ”

 

Source: Siempre! Presencia de Mexico