- MORE VIDEOS OF THE DISCOVER OF HOYO NEGRO
Photograph courtesy Daniel Riordan-Araujo
Divers carefully place a marker near a human skull found upside down in a large underwater cave near the Caribbean Sea on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula (map) in 2007.
Based on the skull's location, the team believes the remains ended up there about 10,000 years ago—just before the then dry cave was inundated as sea level began rising. If confirmed, that age would make the skull one of the oldest known remains of an early American, or Paleo-Indian.
Note: National Geographic magazine partially funded archaeological training for the divers on this expedition. Both the magazine and National Geographic News are parts of the National Geographic Society.
Published March 9, 2011
PET/GUE Divers exit from Hoyo Negro after a long documentation dive where they collected photos and videos of prehistoric remains.
More recently in 2010, National Geographic Daily News published an article on the Young Man of Chan Hol, a possible ritual burial from 10,000 years ago. (Undersea Cave Yields One of Oldest Skeletons in Americas)
In addition to the latest extraordinary expedition and amazing discovery, Robbie Schmittner connected the Aktun-Hu cave system (where Hoyo Negro is located) to the Sac Actun cave system. Together they may now represent the longest underwater cave system in the world.
(Read the account of a National Geographic archaeologist involved with the project: "Skull in Underwater Cave May Be Earliest Trace of First Americans.")
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