Sistema Ox Bel Ha

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Sistema Ox Bel Ha
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Gfi-set01-cave blue.svg
Sistema Ox Bel Ha
Location in Mexico
Location Quintana Roo, Mexico
Coordinates 20°9′37″N87°29′15″W / 20.16028°N 87.48750°W / 20.16028; -87.48750 Coordinates: 20°9′37″N87°29′15″W / 20.16028°N 87.48750°W / 20.16028; -87.48750
Depth57.3 m (188 ft) [1]
Length270.17 km (167.88 mi) [1]
DiscoveryFebruary 1996
Geology Limestone
Entrances143 Cenotes [1]
DifficultyAdvanced cave diving
Cave survey Grupo de Exploración Ox Bel Ha

Sistema Ox Bel Ha (from Mayan meaning "Three Paths of Water"; short Ox Bel Ha) is a cave system in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is the longest explored underwater cave in the world [1] and ranks fourth including dry caves. [2] As of May 2017 the surveyed length is 270.2 kilometers (167.9 mi) of underwater passages. [1] There are more than 140 cenotes in the system. [3]

Contents

Discoveries

The Naranjal subsystem is part of Sistema Ox Bel Ha. Three prehistoric human remains have been found within the subsystem. The Jailhouse cenote, or Las Palmas, is the entrance to the locations of the Muknal and Las Palmas caves. The skeleton of an 18 to 20-year-old woman, Eve of Naharon , (13,454±117 cal BP) was discovered at a location around 368 m (1,207 ft) away from the Jailhouse cenote entrance. The skeleton of a 44 to 50-year-old woman, Las Palmas Lady  [ es ] (8,937±203 cal BP) was found at a location around 2 km (1.2 mi) away from the Jailhouse cenote entrance. The Muknal cave, part of the Naranjal subsystem, contained the remains of a 40 to 50-year-old man, the Muknal Grandfather (9,600 cal BP). Unlike the other two skeletons in the subsystem, the Muknal Grandfather shows evidence of secondary burial. Analysis of these skeletons suggests that Ox Bel Ha was likely used as an important site for ritual burial. [3]

Muknalia minima mandible Muknalia minima mandible.jpg
Muknalia minima mandible

A new genus and species of extinct peccary, Muknalia minima, was identified from a fossil mandible found in the Muknal cave of the Ox Bel Ha system. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Cozumel island in Quintana Roo, Mexico

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Cenote A natural pit, or sinkhole, that exposes groundwater underneath

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Yucatán Peninsula peninsula in North America

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Eve of Naharon

Eve of Naharon is the skeleton of a 25- to 30-year-old human female found in the Naharon section of the underwater cave Sistema Naranjal in Mexico near the town of Tulum, around 80 miles (130 km) south west of Cancún. The Naranjal subsystem is a part of the larger Sistema Ox Bel Ha. The skeleton is carbon dated to 13,600 years ago, which makes it one of the oldest documented human finds in the Americas.

Naia is the name given to a 12,000–13,000 year-old human skeleton of a teenage female that was found in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Her bones were part of a 2007 discovery of a cache of animal bones in an underwater chamber called Hoyo Negro in the Sistema Sac Actun. At the time of Naia's death, the cave system was mostly dry, and she likely died falling into Hoyo Negro.

Chan Hol

Chan Hol, part of the Toh ha cave system, is a cenote and submerged cave system in Quintana Roo, Mexico, of interest to paleoanthropologists. The remains of two prehistoric human fossils were discovered within the cave system. Along with Eve of Naharon, Naia, the Man of El Templo and the Woman of Las Palmas, the two fossils at Chan Hol are among several ancient Paleoamerican skeletons found in the submerged cave systems of the Yucatán Peninsula around Tulum, Quintana Roo.

The following index is provided as an overview of and topical guide to recreational dive sites:

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Hells Bells (cave formations) Underwater cave formation

Hells Bells are hollow bell- or cone-shaped structures of carbonate that can reach lengths of 2 metres. They are found underwater in El Zapote cenote in Quintana Roo, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula; similar formations exist in other caves. In a certain depth range, such structures cover the entire surface of the cave including submerged tree trunks and other Hells Bells, although they never touch each other.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "List of Long Underwater Caves in Quintana Roo Mexico". Quintana Roo Speleological Survey. National Speleological Society (NSS). May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  2. Bob Gulden (November 28, 2016). "Worlds longest caves". Geo2 Committee on Long and Deep Caves. NSS. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  3. 1 2 Stinnesbeck, Sarah R; Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Terrazas Mata, Alejandro; Avilés Olguín, Jerónimo; Benavente Sanvicente, Martha; Zell, Patrick; Frey, Eberhard; Lindauer, Susanne; Rojas Sandoval, Carmen; Velázquez Morlet, Adriana; Acevez Nuñez, Eugenio; González González, Arturo (2018-09-05). "The Muknal cave near Tulum, Mexico: An early-Holocene funeral site on the Yucatán peninsula". The Holocene. SAGE Publications: 095968361879812. doi:10.1177/0959683618798124. ISSN   0959-6836.
  4. Stinnesbeck, Sarah R.; Frey, Eberhard; Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Avíles Olguín, Jeronimo; Zell, Patrick; Terrazas Mata, Alejandro; Benavente Sanvicente, Martha; González González, Arturo; Rojas Sandoval, Carmen; Acevez Nuñez, Eugenio (2017). "A new fossil peccary from the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary of the eastern Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico". Journal of South American Earth Sciences. Elsevier BV. 77: 341–349. doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2016.11.003. ISSN   0895-9811.