After a long search of best guesses the remains of the sixth oldest skeleton was found in the Americas. This discovery helps to unravel clues to our ancestry. This well-preserved skeleton which has been nick named “Naia” was just waiting to be discovered. Her pelvic bone was shattered and the break reaches back to the time of her death. A rather sad tale as scientists pieced together clues about her demise. They believe she plummeted to the bottom of the cave—where she laid rested and trapped for thousands upon thousands of years in Mexico.
Patricia A. Beddows from Earth and Planetary Sciences from Northwestern’s Weinberg College said: “The preservation of all the bones in this deep water-filled cave is amazing, the bones are beautifully laid out.” “The girl’s skeleton is exceptionally complete because of the environment in which she died. She ended up in the right water and in a quiet place without any soil. Her pristine preservation enabled our team to extract enough DNA to determine her shared genetic code with modern Native Americans.
Naia is estimated to be at least 12,000 years old. This native American woman’s teeth were analyzed with helped to determine her age. With such a find also brings forth scavengers looking to make a buck. This area is now a goldmine for such archaeological digs. Unauthorized divers risk damaging bones found here. So far, there have been five different pieces of bone found which belong to Naia. These include her clavicle, humorous and skull.
The scuba diving has brought a lot of discovery and fascination for where our ancestors originated from. Beddows also mentioned that research done in flooded caverns such as this (by comparison) are like space exploration, with divers similar to astronauts who report back to “mission control”.
The divers were excited, when at the very moment of the discovery – the floor disappeared from under them and all they could see was darkness until reaching a decent of some 170 feet. After their eyes adjusted, they noticed animal bone at first. Afterward, Naia was found sometime later and what an amazing find it was. Incredibly this skeleton tells the tale of how life existed back then. It is rather remarkable to realize that someone lived in this area so very long ago. Discoveries such as this, certainly change the perception of how the world has changed over time and how we have evolved.