Archaeologists in exhausting hats and face masks fastidiously take away earth from round huge bones on the website of Mexico Metropolis’s new airport, the place building work has uncovered an enormous trove of mammoth skeletons.
The stays of dozens of the extinct giants and different prehistoric creatures have been present in Zumpango on the northern fringe of the capital, which sits on an historic lake mattress.
“Greater than 100 particular person mammoths, particular person camels, horses, bison, fish, birds, antelopes and rodents have already been recovered,” mentioned military captain Jesus Cantoral, who heads the excavation group.
In whole stays have been discovered at 194 spots throughout the positioning because the first discoveries have been made in October final 12 months throughout work on a gasoline terminal, he instructed AFP.
A lot of the animals are believed to have roamed the Earth between 10,000 and 25,000 years in the past.
Consultants labored painstakingly to extract the bones of one of many mammoth skeletons, taking care to not disturb a mound of earth supporting one other specimen.
On the similar time hundreds of building staff continued to labor away throughout the positioning as dozens of excavators and vans shifted earth and transported constructing supplies.
The authorities say they’ve saved a cautious watch to make sure the dear stays are preserved throughout work on the airport, which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised might be inaugurated in March 2022.
Caught in mud
Consultants imagine the mammoths have been drawn to the world by meals and water offered by a lake that existed in prehistoric occasions.
“The place had a number of pure assets, sufficient for these people to outlive for a very long time and for a lot of generations,” mentioned archaeologist Araceli Yanez.
In winter the lake space turned muddy, trapping the enormous mammals who starved, she mentioned.
“It attracted a lot of mammoths, and so they acquired caught, as is the case with this particular person, and died right here,” Yanez added.
The lake was additionally excellent for preserving the stays.
Mexico has been the scene of peculiar mammoth discoveries earlier than.
Within the 1970s, staff constructing the Mexico Metropolis subway discovered a mammoth skeleton whereas digging on the capital’s north aspect.
In 2012, staff digging to construct a wastewater remedy plant outdoors the capital found a whole lot of bones belonging to mammoths and different Ice Age animals.
And final 12 months archaeologists discovered the skeletons of 14 mammoths in Tultepec, close to the positioning of the brand new airport.
Some bore indicators that the animals had been hunted, main specialists to conclude on the time that they’d discovered “the world’s first mammoth lure.”
The federal government started building of the brand new aviation hub in 2019 on the Santa Lucia navy airbase, months after canceling work on one other partially accomplished airport.
Lopez Obrador, who ran on a pro-austerity, anti-graft platform, had criticized that mission championed by his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto as an pointless mega-project marred by corruption.
His administration has tasked the navy with overseeing building of the brand new airport, which can home a museum showcasing the mammoth skeletons and different historic stays.
© Agence France-Presse