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Reconstructing Water Levels and Access to Hoyo Negro

Author(s): Eduard Reinhardt ; Shawn Collins ; Dominique Rissolo

Year: 2015

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Summary

"Hoyo Negro" was discovered in the Sac Actun Cave system in the Yucatan Peninsula; Mexico which contained abundant fossil remains of Pleistocene animals including the remains of a young PaleoIndian woman. There are several cenotes of varying size and age which may have been used by Paleoamericans to access Hoyo Negro. The two closest cenotes are "Ich Balam" and "Oasis". To determine if these cenotes provided access to Hoyo Negro during occupation of the area, the paleoenvironmental evolution of Ich Balam and Cenote Oasis were investigated. Measurements of cave conduit morphology were taken from Cenote Oasis to Hoyo Negro. Additionally, 9 sediment cores were acquired directly in, and around the cenotes. Radiocarbon dating, identification and abundances of foraminifera, thecamoebians and ostracods were determined for each core to reconstruct the flooding history of the pit and cave passages. Microfossil assemblages, along with sedimentary markers, indicated that Ich Balam was open by at least 8170 Cal BP and the Hoyo Negro Pit was isolated from the surface around 8000 Cal BP due to the flooded cave passage. These results provide constraints on the access and use of Hoyo Negro, and provide important information for interpreting the taphonomic history of the skeletal material.

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Cite this Record

Reconstructing Water Levels and Access to Hoyo Negro. Shawn Collins, Eduard Reinhardt, Dominique Rissolo. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396534)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America