Museum of Yucatan Prehistory

On the grounds of Dos Ojos Park south of Akumal is a small museum that displays artifacts discovered in our area.   The Underwater Archaeology Project was founded in 1999 to research the earliest human and ecosystems on the Yucatan Peninsula.  And where did the team look?  In the rivers, caves, and cenotes that lie under our homes, malls, and highways.  The second and third longest underwater cave systems in the world thread their way under Dos Ojos Park, so divers and scientists have a rich field for their investigations.

 

Researchers found that more than 13,000 years ago people and animals inhabited the hundreds of miles of dry caves and left bones inside.  At the end of the last Ice Age the water levels rose, trapping these bones.  Ten human skeletons have been found, all of which were more than 8,000 years old.  The oldest skeleton in America, the Woman from Naharon, dates to nearly 14,000 years ago.  The Woman of Las Palmas had the most complete face, so a full size model was able to be made.  It’s on display in the Climate Change Museum in Silao, Guanajuato.

Among the animals that inhabited our area were bears, giant sloths, saber tooth tigers, mastodons, small horses, camelids, foxes, and rabbits.  Some relatives of these prehistoric creatures can be seen today.

Dos Ojos Park is located less than 1 km south of Xel Ha and the museum is open 9-5.  There is no charge for the museum, but a donation box is handy.

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