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Mon Jul 6, 2020, 08:09 AM

Divers uncover mysteries of earliest inhabitants of Americas deep inside Yucatan caves

From phys.org:




A diver from Centro Investigador del Sistema Acuífero de Q Roo (CINDAQ A.C.) in the oldest ochre mine ever found in the Western hemisphere, used 10,000-12,000 years ago by the earliest inhabitants of the hemisphere to procure the ancient commodity. The mine holds some the best-preserved evidence these ancient peoples was found in a cave that is now underwater in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Credit: © CINDAQ.ORG

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Thousands of years ago, the first inhabitants of the Americas journeyed deep into caves in present-day Mexico to mine red ochre, a highly valued, natural clay earth pigment used as paint.

Now, according to a new study, scientists and divers have discovered the first evidence of this mining operation deep within underwater caves in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

"What is remarkable is not only the preservation of the mining activity, but also the age and duration of it," said study lead author Brandi MacDonald of the University of Missouri. "We rarely, if ever, get to observe such clear evidence of ochre pigment mining of Paleoindian age in North America, so to get to explore and interpret this is an incredible opportunity for us.

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Reply Divers uncover mysteries of earliest inhabitants of Americas deep inside Yucatan caves (Original post)
Jim__ Jul 6 OP
Judi Lynn Jul 8 #1
wnylib Jul 12 #2
Judi Lynn Jul 13 #3
wnylib Jul 13 #4

Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2020, 04:32 PM

1. Wonderful comment closing the article:

"It is not what we have found so far, but what we have yet to discover that gets us out of bed every morning," said Sam Meacham, cave exploration researcher and founder of CINDAQ. "We have no doubt that there is so much more out there just waiting to be found and understood."

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 09:04 PM

2. Yup. There is so much to be learned

from underwater archaeology because of land lost when the seas rose with the end of the last ice age and melting of the glaciers. As the article points out, underwater sites have been undisturbed by people for several millennia. Exploring them is like dropping into a time capsule.

True not just for the Americss, but elsewhere in the world.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 13, 2020, 05:30 AM

3. Looking forward to the time technology will become capable of much closer study of these sites! n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 13, 2020, 07:22 AM

4. Me too. I have some hypotheses,

not developed enough to call them theories, but founded in some known facts, with a lot still unknown. Would like to find out if I'm on the right track with them.

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