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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Maya Ancestor Remains Discovered in Mexico Cave

Thursday, August 09, 2018

INAH Puyil CaveMEXICO CITY, MEXICO—According to a CBC report, archaeologists have discovered human remains in southern Mexico's Puyil cave, the earliest of which are estimated to be around 7,000 years old. According to archaeologist Alberto Martos of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, the oldest remains—which are now on display in Mexico City—date to a period when the progenitors of the Maya began to shift from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agrarian, sedentary one. These settlements eventually led to the grand city states of the Maya Classic Period (A.D. 250-900). The exhibit also houses artifacts uncovered in the surrounding region, including ceramics and jade artwork. Martos and his team believe that the cave was likely used by multiple groups over a long period of time and would have mostly functioned as a ritual, rather than domestic, space. To read more about Maya origins, go to "The City at the Beginning of the World." 

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