Ancient Mayan remains thought to be up to 7,000 years old have been discovered by archaeologists in Mexico.
Three skeletons were found in the Puyil cave, in the Tacotalpa municipality of Tabasco state, which is in the south of the country.
One of them is estimated to date back seven millennia, while the other two are thought to be 4,000 years old.
Researchers said the oldest of the skeletons was from a period when humans were transitioning from hunting to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Trabajo multidisciplinario e interinstitucional nos permite saber que en la cueva de Puyil, #Tabasco, no sólo se alojaban entierros mayas del periodo Clásico Tardío, sino también los restos de tres individuos más antiguos considerados ancestros de los tabasqueños contemporáneos. pic.twitter.com/5Wfgpjdvuz
— Diego Prieto (@dprieto_) August 7, 2018
Archaeologist Alberto Martos said: “Seven thousand years old is when we’ve just placed it, which is the period of transition from being hunters to sedentarism.
“There were different groups during this time that used the caves, clearly it wasn’t a domestic cave.
“In prehistoric times it was probably used for rituals and cemeteries so as to dispose of remains of people.
“For the Maya, it was a cave of ancestors.
“This cave was used by the Maya, they respected the remains that were already there and left their own remains inside.”