In the subterranean waters of the Yucatan peninsula, a group of divers discovered the world’s longest flooded cave after 10 months of intensive exploration.
The discovery, located on the eastern shores of Mexico, will help shed new light on the ancient Maya civilisation, reports The Guardian:
“This immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world,” says underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.
“It has more than a hundred archaeological contexts, among which are evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Maya culture.”
“It allows us to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged,” explained de Anda.
Because you know, the Spanish really enjoyed wiping out Mexican civilisations.
The cave system now spans more than 347km. Known as Sac Actun, it was once measured at 263, km until it was officially connected with the 83km Dos Ojos system.
But the search isn’t over yet.
Sac Actun stands to grow even larger, with the researchers saying it could be connected to three other underwater cave systems – provided further dives can show the caverns do indeed link up:
“It’s a tunnel of time that transports you to a place 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.”
An underground time capsule, if you will.
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