Girl's 12,000-year-old skeleton found

Last updated 12:26 19/05/2014
Skeleton
PAUL NICKLEN/National Geographic

UNDERWATER BOUNTY: Diver Susan Bird inspects the skull on an underwater turntable.

Relevant offers

Americas

Parents of autistic boy kept in makeshift cage testify they did best they could WikiLeaks publishes 30,000 leaked Sony documents Man pulls driver to safety at cliff's edge Flight makes emergency landing after worker is trapped in cargo hold Giraffe killer Rebecca Francis hits back at Ricky Gervais Suspect in 2 fatal shootings is dead Police in Houston fatally shoot man following a car chase Video shows Arizona officer ramming suspect with patrol car Gravity Payments founder Dan Price cuts his salary from $US1m to $US70k, doubles staff wages 'Success Kid' meme star raises thousands to save his dad's life

This post was originally published on Mashable.

Scientists have discovered what they say is the "oldest, most complete" human skeleton in the Western hemisphere, the National Geographic Society reports.

The 12,000-year-old skeleton includes major bones, an intact cranium and a set of teeth. Naia, as the skeleton is named, was thought to be a girl around 15 or 16 years old when she died.

She was found among the remains of extinct animals - like sabertoothed cats and giant sloths - in Hoyo Negro, a flooded cave 40 metres below sea level on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Researchers used radiocarbon dating of tooth samples and the surrounding animals to estimate Naja's age.

A team of 16 divers, archaeologists and paleontologists documented the find with video in the water.

Researchers say the discovery shows evidence of a connection between Paleoamericans, who lived on the continents after the last ice age, and modern Native Americans.

The discovery will be featured in National Geographic Magazine and in a PBS documentary in 2015. In the meantime, preliminary findings are published in the journal Science.

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

Ad Feedback
Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content