Mexico City, Dec 8 (EFE).- Mexico’s anthropology and history institute announced Wednesday the discovery of mammoth remains dating back at least 10,000 years in Puebla state.
Remains were found in the municipality of Los Reyes de Juarez, in eastern Puebla, when the local cemetery’s caretaker struck what he believed to be a root with his backhoe but turned out to be bone fragments instead.
Los Reyes de Juarez mayor Manuel Herrera told officials who went to inspect the site confirmed they were bones belonging to megafauna that lived during the Pleistocene. The institute then began the excavation.
Biologist Ivan Alarcon Duran from the institute said that “through archaeological rescue tasks, in the aisle between the rows of graves it was possible to recover an almost complete tusk with an initial measurement of 2.90 meters, and the second tusk was also found that was broken by the machine.”
The fragmented skull, 70 percent of the pelvis and some fragments of the rib were also recovered, some of which are 60 percent of the original size.
“To avoid deterioration of the bone, the skull was removed immersed in a box of hardened sediment and will be carefully cleaned in the laboratory for further analysis,” the institute said.
Amid the earth layers where mammoth bones were located, specialist found travertine, a sedimentary stone created by a rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate found in surface and ground waters, such as springs, lakes and rivers.
Carlos Castaneda, a research professor at the Autonomous University of Puebla, will collaborate with the institute to carry out pollen studies, which “will allow the reconstruction of the palaeoenvironment where the new municipal pantheon is now located,” the institution said.
Bone pieces were taken to INAH’s laboratories, where they are being treated for their conservation and analysis.
More than 500 archaeological sites have been discovered in Mexico City’s new airport in Zumpango municipality.
Dozens of skeletons of mammoths, camels, horses and bison have been found there, marking it one of the most important sites for paleontological discoveries in Latin America. EFE