During a survey of a flooded cave system, the Aktun-Hu system in Quintana Roo, Mexico, divers explored the Hoyo Negro. This deep pit contained skeletal remains of a mastodon and a human skull. This skull may be one of the earliest humans ever discovered in the Americas.
“During the Late Pleistocene, these caves were dry. The first people to occupy what is now the Caribbean coast of Mexico wandered into these caves, where some ultimately met their demise. As the last glacial maximum came to end, the melting of the polar ice caps and continental ice sheets raised sea levels worldwide. The caves of the Yucatan Peninsula filled with water and the First Americans were hidden for millennia — only to be discovered by underwater cave explorers. It is within these dark reaches that cave explorers are discovering and documenting the oldest human skeletons yet found in the Western Hemisphere,” archaeologist Dominique Rissolo said.