A team of archaeologists in Mexico excavating Mayan ruins near the ancient walled city of Tulum discovered a sealed cave filled with human and animal remains that could be well over 1,000 years old.
The research work is being conducted in Tulum by Mexico’s federal Ministry of Culture, through the country’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, according to a news release from the institute.
The Mayans used to view a snail as a decoration, and it was discovered attached to the entrance wall. The cave was 20 inches tall, dimly lit, and cramped. It was also filled with bugs and broken pieces of pottery, possibly from the years 1200 to 1550.
The entrance of the cave near Quintana Roo on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula was sealed by a sizable rock, as reported by the team. Upon removing the rock, they made a startling discovery, the remains of eight individuals inside the cave.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History released a statement confirming this finding. The initial skeleton uncovered was positioned peculiarly, with its upper body inside the cave and its legs extending outside, giving the impression that it was firmly fixed in place.
Along with the human bones, the archaeologists also found the remains of dead animals, including dogs, deer, opossums, armadillos, frogs, sea turtles, and sharks.
The archeologists said the humans and animals were likely buried together in funeral ceremonies before Europeans arrived in the Americas.