May 20, 2020
UNAM/INAH researchers have discovered the oldest traces of bonfires in the Yucatan region in the cave of Aktun-Ha in Quintana Roo. The fires are 10,500 years old. The now underwater cave was dry at that time. 13,000 years ago, migrants from central Mexico arrived in Quintana Too. 8 skeletons have been found with skulls different than the native inhabitants, adapted to a colder climate and weighing less and smaller.
The caves were used by the inhabitants for funeral and ritual activities.
The entrance to the now flooded cave is through a cenote. The researchers had to ensure the coals they found were not transported by water to the site. Various scientific testing method proved that the age of the fires was determined to be 10,500 years old and were produced right there.
The research is published in the journal Geoarchaeology. The work was financed by UNAM, the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and the National Geographic Society.
The Yucatan Times has the story with photos here;
Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya in Quintana Roo Magazine
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