A group of divers involved in the project dedicated to the study and preservation of the subterranean waters of the Yucatan peninsula in south-eastern Mexico has found what is believed to be the biggest flooded cave on the planet. Reportedly, the discovery could shed new light on the ancient Maya civilisation.
the Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM) project identified the 216-mile (347km) cave after months of exploring a maze of underwater channels. As per a statement issued by the team, the cave system known as Sac Actun, once measured at 163 miles (263km), communicated with the 52-mile (83km) Dos Ojos system. Because of this, Sac Actun has now absorbed Dos Ojos.
The significance of the find lies in the fact that the Yucatan peninsula is studded with studded with monumental relics of the Maya people. Of particular importance is the extensive network of cenotes (sacred wells) found at the site. Cenotes were of religious significance to Maya people who sacrificed humans, animals, and objects in them as a means of worship to their Gods. Previous excavations carried out in the cenotes of Yucatan peninsula have recovered a large of objects including gold, pottery, incense and human remains.
The Maya civilisation is traced back to around 2000 BC and noted as being one of the most extensive human settlement in the days of pre-Columbian Americas. In an interview with the Reuters, Guillermo de Anda, the director of GAM and an underwater archaeologist said that”the discovery allows us to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged.”