Mayan underworld holds natural wonders

By | March 21, 2006

Mayan underworld holds natural wonders

MSNBC – Biologist Tom Iliffe of Texas A&M University studies a centuries-old human skull found in the submerged cave systems of the Yucat?n during an expedition. The skull may have come from the victim of a sacrifice to the Mayan rain god.

…Divers are dipping into the cenotes, which stud the Yucatan peninsula, to explore a vast underground river system. Hefting air tanks, guidelines and waterproof lamps, they have so far mapped 405 miles (650 kilometers) of channels that form part of a huge subterranean river delta flowing into the Caribbean Sea, and they are only just starting.

Scientists investigating the network of caverns and galleries, formed by rainwater passing through porous limestone, have found a wealth of early archaeological relics and prehistoric animal bones. Among the startling discoveries are … saltwater sponges that may contain anti-tumor compounds. – MORE

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