The Oldest Underwater Mine in America is Discovered in Tulum

discovered in tulum

A new underwater discovery in Quintana Roo offers hints about the earliest human activities in caves. This finding is part of the “La Mina” project and is considered to be a great discovery.

This mine was discovered by experts from the Underwater Archeology Subdirectorate (SAS), the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Quintana Roo Aquifer System Research Center (CINDAQ), who conclude that this find is between 10,000 and 12,000 years old. It is being cataloged as the oldest in America.

The project includes the analysis of three submerged cave systems on the eastern coast of Quintana Roo, La Mina being the site where valuable evidence has been found that shows that ancient humans entered caves to take refuge and perform mining activities to extract primarily ocher.

The explorers reached this conclusion due to the discovery of coal remains, soot on the cave ceiling, triangular mounds of stones, which could not have formed naturally, and small excavations that contained the remains of a mineral, which after being analyzed, was found to be ocher.

Ocher is used to create red pigment in African communities to this day.

Another important find, which is the biggest indicator that this cave was actually a mine, are the marks in the entrance corridors, which were used to guide people to the ocher pits.

The study, according to the head of the INAH Underwater Archeology Sub-Directorate, is part of the same study that discovered Hoyo Negro, the huge flooded chamber where “Naia”, the remains of a young woman, were discovered. Naia lived almost 13 thousand years ago.