Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

The Arrival of Humans on the Yucatan Peninsula: Late Pleistocene Evidence from Submerged Caves in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico

April 19th, 2013
4pm

Location
Dinwiddie 102

The Tulane Anthropology Department presents “The Arrival of Humans on the Yucatan Peninsula: Late Pleistocene Evidence from Submerged Caves in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico,” a talk by Carmen Rojas Sandoval of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México.

Submerged caves near Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the Yucatan peninsula, contain important evidence of a late Pleistocene human presence associated with the bones of several megafauna species. Among the major discoveries of the ongoing multidisciplinary research are eight human skeletons of Preceramic age, some of which are between 70 and 90 percent complete and mostly articulated. These corpses, which skeletonized in situ, appear to have been intentionally buried at a time when the caves were still dry, i.e., prior to the early-Holocene rise in sea level. The studies reveal that some of these early human groups were related to pre-mongoloid groups, from Central Asia. Other archaeological evidence from the cave, such as hearths with animal bones and cut marks on camelid bones, demonstrate the domestic use of dry caves and the consumption of Pleistocene fauna by early hunter-gatherers.

Mexico + People
Thomas F. Reese
SCLAS Executive Director. Professor - Art History