Archeologists in Mexico have discovered sets of human remains from the early ancestors of the Mayan civilization that could be as much as 7,000 years old, officials reported on Tuesday.
According to archaeologists at a Mexico City news conference, three sets of human remains were unearthed at the Puyil cave in the Tacotalpa municipality of Tabasco state, located in southern Mexico.
One set reportedly goes as far back as the pre-classical era of the Mayan civilization, putting it at up to 7,000 years old.
The other two skeletons are estimated to be about 4,000 years old. These ancient Mayan remains are on show in the capital’s Anthropology Museum for an exhibition called Puyil: the Cave of Ancestors.
People can see the remains as well as find other artifacts discovered in the region, such as ceramics and pieces of jade.
One of the great ancient civilizations
The Maya were among the great ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica, building cities with elaborate ceremonial centres and soaring stone pyramids located in parts of modern day Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
They dominated the region for some 2,000 years before the ancient civilization mysteriously abandoned its cities around AD 900.
Archeologist Alberto Martos said the team believes the cave was used by different groups. “Clearly it wasn’t a domestic cave. In prehistoric times it was probably used for rituals and cemeteries so as to dispose of the remains of people.”