Friday, 16 November, 2018

World's largest underwater cave could unearth Maya secrets

The bones in the cave CEN EPIC Human bones were found perfectly in tact in a gigantic underwater cave
Ellis Copeland | 19 January, 2018, 02:23

This underwater warren, thought by the Maya people to be the entrance to the underworld, is something of a 2-for-1 discovery. Reportedly, the discovery could shed new light on the ancient Maya civilisation.

There may be, for instance, other cave systems that are linked to Sac Actun, which means "White Cave" in the Yucatec Maya language.

Divers exploring Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula have discovered a 216-mile-long underwater cave, believed to be the biggest in the world.

The connection between the two cave systems was identified after speleologists spent months navigating the intricate maze of underwater channels.

The cave holds hundreds of Mayan relics, according to Guillermo de Anda, the director of the Gran Acuifero Maya team, which is part of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The next phase includes an analysis of the water quality of the Sac Actun System, and a study of its biodiversity and conservation.

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Not far from the beach resort of Tulum, Mexico, lies a cave system called Sac Actun - this may be the largest flooded cave in the world.

For Robert Schmittner, it was a long time coming. Thus, the Sac Actun System is now considered the largest in the world, with a length of 347 kilometres of flooded cave.

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

The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization - a region and cultural area in the Americas, extending from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, and within which pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. Yucatan Peninsula's submerged cave systems are spanning 1400 km of hidden flooded tunnels.

"We've recorded more than 100 archaeological elements: the remains of extinct fauna, early humans, Maya archaeology, ceramics, and Maya graves", de Anda told the Mexican media.

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