Evidence of Early Inhabitants in Submerged Caves in Yucatan, Mexico


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Underwater and Maritime Archaeology in Latin America and the Caribbean


The Yucatan Peninsula is generally considered poor in terms of preservation of paleontological or archaeological remains. This is essentially the result of geochemical and geomorphologic conditions in the region such as the absence of soils covering the limestone bedrock and the ubiquitous presence of jungle vegetation. The geology of the Yucatan Peninsula is homogeneous and relatively simple. Models to explain the origin and the number of migrations are based on archaeological, anthropophysical, genetic, and linguistic evidence. Archaeological evidence is often located hundreds of meters from the closest entrance, in complicated underground mazes tens of meters below the surface. According to preliminary morphometric analyses, cranial morphologies of the three Yucatan skeletons differ considerably from those of pre- and post-Hispanic Mayas, and from typical Paleoindian material known from the United States and Mexico. The cranial morphometry resembles older rather than recent Paleoamerican skulls from North and South America.

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Book Chapter