Mexican archeologists find ancient bonfires inside cenote in Quintana Roo

07/05/2020
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14:30
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Newsroom
Mexican archeologists find ancient bonfires inside cenote in Quintana Roo
The bonfires are over 10,000 years old - Photo: Taken from INAH's Twitter account

Mexican archeologists find ancient bonfires inside cenote in Quintana Roo

07/05/2020
14:30
Newsroom
Mexico City
-A +A
The bonfires were made by the first settlers of the Yucatán peninsula

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The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) participated in an expedition that discovered the earliest bonfires in the American continent, remains that show the way of living of the first settlers of the Yucatán peninsula.

The discovery, published in “Geoarchaeology,” took place in the Aktun-Ha flooded cave near Tulum, Quintana Roo, where researchers discovered the bonfire remains that are 10,500 years old and whose location in strategic places suggests that they provided fire and light that guided ancestors back to the surface.

“Aktun-Ha is a flooded cave or cenote in total darkness that used to be dry 15,000 years ago when the sea level was 150 meters lower than now. The first settlers could have used it as a shelter or for performing rituals,” said the UNAM.

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Alejandro Terrazas Mata, an anthropologist who partook in the investigation, asserted that the remains “are evidence of survival strategies and organization and planning skills, in addition to the symbolic and ritual meaning of caves for the first settlers.”

The research team found 15 coal accumulations that were possibly caused by the bonfires.

“We had to verify that they were coal remains and if the evidence was a product of human activity or if they had been transported by water to the site,” added Elizabeth Solleiro Rebolledo from the Geology Institute (IGL) of the UNAM.

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The research also found out that the bonfires are 10,5000 years old. Moreover, it is estimated that the temperature reached by the fire was between 200 and 600 degrees Celsius.

The researchers said that the first settlers arrived in Quintana Roo some 13,000 years ago from central Mexico.

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