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Divers Find Ancient Skeleton in Mexico
Associated Press ^ | September 9, 2004

Posted on 09/09/2004 8:02:57 PM PDT by NCjim

Divers making dangerous probes through underwater caves near the Caribbean coast have discovered what appears to be one of oldest human skeletons in the Americas, archaeologists announced at a seminar that was ending on Friday.

The report by a team from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History exploits a new way of investigating the past. Most coastal settlements by early Americans now lie deep beneath the sea, which during the Ice Age was hundreds of feet lower than now.

Researchers at the international ``Early Man in America'' seminar here also reported other ancient finds -- including a California bone that is a rival for the title of the oldest in the Americas.

The discoveries fall close to the start of the time that traditional theories say a so-called Clovis culture could have moved from Asia to Alaska over a temporary land corridor that began to open about 13,500 years ago.

Many academics argue that new discoveries, especially in South America, prove the Clovis people found existing inhabitants, who may have arrived by hopscotching past the northern ice fields in small boats.

Arturo Gonzalez said his team discovered at least three skeletons in caves along the Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in 2001 and 2002. Photos showed two remarkably well preserved.

``It's something that I had been dreaming of for many years,'' said Gonzalez, 39, who has combined diving and research since he was a teenager. ``To find a person who had walked those caves was like a treasure.''

Gonzalez said the bones must date from before the time that waters gradually seeped through the caves 8,000 to 9,000 years ago as Ice Age glaciers melted and sea level rose by about 400 feet worldwide.

Tests on charcoal found beside one female skeleton would place it at least 10,000 years ago. An expert at the University of California, Riverside, dated it as 11,670 radiocarbon years old -- which would translate to well over 13,000 calendar years.

If confirmed, ``that would be the oldest'' radio carbon date in the Americas obtained from a human bone, said archaeology textbook author Stuart Fiedel.

Fiedel, a defender of the ``Clovis first'' school, said the oldest estimate for the cave find still fits the Clovis time frame, though narrowly.

Larry Murphy, chief of the Submerged Resources Center for the U.S. National Park Service, said in a telephone interview that the Mexican exploration was ``one of the first systematic studies of human materials associated with a submarine cave.''

The discovery helps prove that humans inhabited the Yucatan at least 5,000 years before the famed Maya culture began building monuments at sites such as nearby Tulum.

Gonzalez said the skeleton did not appear to be Mayan, but with no tools yet found, almost nothing is known of those first inhabitants.

Gonzalez said cave divers had sometimes mentioned seeing skeletons and he convinced skeptical officials to finance a survey of the water holes that dot the Yucatan, a limestone shelf.

Extensive, flooded caves wind off from some of those holes. Many were above ground during the Ice Age and Gonzalez speculated people may have used them as paths down to fresh water.

Gonzalez said the oldest find was made 404 yards into a cave, more than 65 feet below sea level, during expeditions that can be extremely dangerous.

It took repeated trips to record the sites and excavate the bones, which then required two years of preservation.

Team co-director Carmen Rojas said the divers had 40 minutes to wind their way through the cave to the site, 20 minutes to work there and 40 minutes to swim back, followed by 20 to 60 minutes of decompression time.

``You train five years for those 20 minutes,'' she said.

Meanwhile, John Johnson of the University of California, Santa Barbara, said an elaborate restudy of a woman's femur found on Santa Rosa Island in California's Channel Islands established a calendar-year age of 13,200 to 13,500 years. It had been calculated at about 1,000 years less when found in 1959.

Both discoveries would be significantly older than the skeleton known Kennewick Man -- 9,300-year-old paleoindian remains found by teenagers along a Washington state riverbank in 1996.

Until now, the Americas have produced only 25 bones or skeletons dated as more than 8,000 years old, said Silvia Gonzalez of John Moores University in Liverpool, England. But she told the conference that she would soon publish a paper establishing that humans occupied a site near Puebla east of Mexico City 21,000 to 28,000 years ago.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: americas; archaeology; australia; bering; clovis; dna; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; mtdna; multiregionalism; paleontology; preclovis; precolumbian; primates; replacement
Who wants to bet that this skeleton votes Democrat in November?
1 posted on 09/09/2004 8:02:58 PM PDT by NCjim
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To: NCjim

Probably will vote Democrat. Because you know it's Bush's fault. It's his environmental policies that are to blame for early man's downfall.


2 posted on 09/09/2004 8:05:51 PM PDT by writer33 (Try this link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/books/electivedecisions.shtml)
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To: NCjim

Will the real Dan Rather please stand up?


3 posted on 09/09/2004 8:07:07 PM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: NCjim

That was sarcasm for those waiting to pounce.


4 posted on 09/09/2004 8:07:34 PM PDT by writer33 (Try this link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/books/electivedecisions.shtml)
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To: blam
Kennewick Man -- 9,300-year-old paleoindian

Error or agenda?

5 posted on 09/09/2004 8:09:27 PM PDT by ASA Vet (Tourette's syndrome is just a $&#$*!% excuse for poor *%$#** language skills.)
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To: NCjim

He died crawling toward the Texas border.


6 posted on 09/09/2004 8:13:56 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: ASA Vet
"Kennewick Man -- 9,300-year-old paleoindian"

"Error or agenda?

Agenda. They should say Paleo-American

7 posted on 09/09/2004 8:15:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: NCjim
Said skeleton was found to be in possession of a forged SSN card, a California Driver's License signed by Gill Cedillo, $185 in Food Stamps and another $300 in WIC checks.

It also had a ER card from Northridge Hospital, Sherman Way campus.

Archaeologists were amazed, since they knew that Northridge Hospital, Sherman Way Campus has been closed for some time now.
8 posted on 09/09/2004 8:19:03 PM PDT by m87339 (If you could see what a drag it is to see you.)
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To: NCjim; Coyoteman; SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

"Meanwhile, John Johnson of the University of California, Santa Barbara, said an elaborate restudy of a woman's femur found on Santa Rosa Island in California's Channel Islands established a calendar-year age of 13,200 to 13,500 years. It had been calculated at about 1,000 years less when found in 1959."

We covered this a couple years ago, see below:

Arlington Springs Woman

9 posted on 09/09/2004 8:20:00 PM PDT by blam
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To: NCjim

Most interesting.


10 posted on 09/09/2004 8:22:45 PM PDT by Ciexyz ("FR, best viewed with a budgie on hand".)
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To: JimSEA
"But she told the conference that she would soon publish a paper establishing that humans occupied a site near Puebla east of Mexico City 21,000 to 28,000 years ago."

Excellent news.

11 posted on 09/09/2004 8:23:13 PM PDT by blam
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To: NCjim

wonder if this skeleton was Chinese?


12 posted on 09/09/2004 8:27:26 PM PDT by Khurkris (Proud Scottish/HillBilly - We perfected "The Art of the Grudge")
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To: NCjim
If confirmed, ``that would be the oldest'' radio carbon date in the Americas obtained from a human bone, said archaeology textbook author Stuart Fiedel.

Not as old as this!


13 posted on 09/09/2004 8:28:34 PM PDT by SirChas (Come children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out.)
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To: All
Stop it! You guys are killing me.

BWAHAHAHAHAA!

14 posted on 09/09/2004 8:34:00 PM PDT by Lizavetta
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To: NCjim; blam
Good information! Thanks! Archaeology is really getting exciting now!

This is what keeps us going in spite of the ruined knees and aching lower backs (occupational hazards for archaeologists who actually get out into the field).

Cave diving, though. That takes real courage. Regular caves are dangerous, and diving is dangerous. Combining the two is a slow form of suicide. Stetsons off to those guys!

15 posted on 09/09/2004 8:36:49 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I'm an archaeologist. I Work For A Living!)
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To: SirChas

Geeze! Are you trying to frighten little kids?.........Uh, wonder if she goes out on Halloween? I wouldn't. One can only hope that somewhere there's a bag with her name on it.


16 posted on 09/09/2004 8:46:28 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Save a Democrat! Vote Republican!)
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To: Khurkris
"wonder if this skeleton was Chinese?"

Probably Ainu/Polynesian...like Kennewick Man.

The Chinese came later.

17 posted on 09/09/2004 9:00:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: NCjim
"Who wants to bet that this skeleton votes Democrat in November? "

don't bet on it. he never did anything right...
we tol him, "don't drink the water..."

18 posted on 09/09/2004 9:30:30 PM PDT by hoot2
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 2Jedismom; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
thanks Blam.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

19 posted on 09/09/2004 9:49:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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To: Coyoteman

Great tagline. Mine should read, "I'm a Historian and unemployable." haha


20 posted on 09/09/2004 10:01:37 PM PDT by flying Elvis
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To: blam

As you said, findings are coming so fast it is hard to adsorb all the information. I am awaiting the publication of a joint Thai/French excavation of a rock shelter near Chiang Mai of about 25,000 years old. One might wonder if it and the Puebla site are both of "Austrailaian" origin???


21 posted on 09/10/2004 6:14:39 AM PDT by JimSEA ( "More Bush, Less Taxes.")
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To: NCjim
Most coastal settlements by early Americans now lie deep beneath the sea, which during the Ice Age was hundreds of feet lower than now.

Poor chap . . . killed by SUVs.

22 posted on 09/10/2004 7:20:34 AM PDT by BenLurkin (We have low inflation and and low unemployment.)
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To: NCjim

Scripture tells us that mountains rose and valleys dropped during Noah's flood. I suspect that because of the "violence that filled the earth" God desired to hide or destroy most of the prevaling "culture". Thus I'm not too surprised that we find settlements under the sea.

I question the dating though. I bet the bones are no older than 7000 years. And the difference in the carbon ratios has another explanation such as the modern level of carbon is not an adequate assumption for 7000 years ago, and/or contamination or leaching.


23 posted on 09/10/2004 7:50:22 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: JimSEA
"One might wonder if it and the Puebla site are both of "Austrailaian" origin???"

There's a good possibility.

I've done a search on the ancient rice found in Sakai Cave but I came up empty. Have you found anything on this?

24 posted on 09/10/2004 8:24:36 AM PDT by blam
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To: NCjim
Ice Age glaciers melted and sea level rose by about 400 feet worldwide.

And we're worried about a few inches in the next century?
25 posted on 09/10/2004 8:34:22 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth...)
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To: NCjim
Divers Find Ancient Skeleton in Mexico

... Appears To Be Remains of Kerry Campaign

26 posted on 09/10/2004 8:36:57 AM PDT by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: blam

I have heard nothing but the report is published and I will pick it up in a couple of weeks when I get to Chiang Mai. As I recall, the "powers that be" have resisted the findings of domesticated rice in Spirit cave near Lampang so they are perhaps being very careful. Hoabinhian sites are often downgraded in importance by the Chinese for obvious reasons.


27 posted on 09/10/2004 2:44:09 PM PDT by JimSEA ( "More Bush, Less Taxes.")
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
we're worried about a few inches in the next century?

Yeah. The big deal Global Warming is small potatoes compared to what has already happened since just 12,000 years ago.

28 posted on 09/10/2004 2:52:18 PM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and establish property rights)
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To: JimSEA
"I have heard nothing but the report is published and I will pick it up in a couple of weeks when I get to Chiang Mai."

Let me know what you find out.

also, I am curious if the SEA part of your screen name stands for South East Asia?

29 posted on 09/10/2004 3:58:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Correct! I was in Chiang Mai in November, 2000 when I singed up on Free Republic so SEA for South East Asia seemed appropriate. Now I have to give yours some thought!


30 posted on 09/10/2004 6:11:44 PM PDT by JimSEA ( "More Bush, Less Taxes.")
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To: Professional Engineer

ping


31 posted on 09/10/2004 7:03:04 PM PDT by msdrby (remind me to drink more water)
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To: NCjim
Divers making dangerous probes through underwater caves near the Caribbean coast have discovered what appears to be one of oldest human skeletons in the Americas, archaeologists announced at a seminar that was ending on Friday.

The oldest wetback?
32 posted on 09/10/2004 7:04:44 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: NCjim

and after further examination, the skeleton was found clutching John Kerry's original Silver Star Commendation.


33 posted on 09/10/2004 7:05:52 PM PDT by smonk
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To: blam

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34 posted on 11/05/2009 2:32:16 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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