A team of archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 60 mammoths at the construction site of what would be Mexico City’s new airport.
According to Mexico’s Excelsior newspaper, excavators from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said the bones, unearthed at the construction site of the planned Felipe Angeles International Airport, date back some 35,000 years.
The remains were found where the airport’s future control tower will be built, alongside animal and human fossils.
INAH excavators have reportedly been working at the site – around 50 kilometres north of Mexico City – since April 2019, seeking animal remains from the Pleistocene era.
Durante los trabajos para construir el nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional "General Felipe Ángeles", en Santa Lucía, Estado…
According to Deutsche Welle, the team in December unearthed the bones of a far smaller number of animals at the old Santa Lucia Air Base, a military airport currently being converted for civilians.
The area was formerly submerged under the Xaltocan Lake, a part of the Mexican Basin and a focal point of the country’s pre-Colombian civilisation.
Traps for the hunting of mammoths, thought to have been dug soon after the lake dried up, were found at the site last year, while other animals – including bison, camels and horses – were also found, as well as the bones of humans buried in the pre-Hispanic era and various artefacts.
Almost all of the giant mammoth remains are thought to belong to the Colombian mammoth species, Excelsior reported.
“The main challenge is that the richness of fauna and relics is greater than we had considered,” Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava, INAH’s national anthropology coordinator, told Excelsior.
INAH said the discoveries are not intended to slow down the building of the airport, and that they had little impact on the building work.
“It would be a lie to say that we have not had an influence on the work being carried out, but we are working in coordination with those responsible,” Sanchez Nava said.
“We are able to continue at our own pace without having too much influence on the times of the work.”
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