Archaeologists involved in the construction of the new airport near the Mexican capital also found 15 human burials from the pre-Hispanic period.
Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) announced the discovery of the bones of 60 mammoths during archaeological research carried out at the construction site for the new Felipe Ángeles International Airport. The fossils belong to the species Mammuthus columbi, which inhabited North and Central America during the Pleistocene, and are at least 11 thousand years old.
The bones belonged to males, females, and young mammoths and were found in a superficial layer of sediment, which indicates the probable natural death of the animals. According to the scientists, the archaeological site is where a lake once stood – and the team believes that the mammoths died from being trapped in the swampy terrain of the region.
The discovery is the result of research being carried out by the INAH team at 23 sites within a 9 km radius from Tultepec, a neighboring city of the Mexican capital, where the bones of 15 mammoths were found during excavations in late 2019. “The construction work allowed INAH to research in a space where, although it was known that skeletal remains existed, they had never been located, recovered and studied,” said Salvador Pulido Méndez, director of the institution, in a statement.
The team also found 15 pre-Hispanic human burials in the region and, according to experts, the bodies probably belonged to farmers who lived in the area. Little is known, however, about these corpses. The researchers intend to continue analyzing the remains.