Recently, during the 2023-2024 field seasons at the La Morita II prehistoric cave in the state of Nuevo León (Mexico), archaeologists made several significant discoveries. Among the most notable findings are human remains dating back 2,500 to 3,000 years before the present.

The human remains, corresponding to a baby and two teenagers, were found at a depth of 1.65 meters in the southern chamber of the cave.

According to archaeologist Moisés Valadez Moreno, bones such as hand phalanges, foot metatarsals, an ulna, and a humerus were identified, along with ribs and dental pieces. It is believed that the bodies were intentionally dismembered and deposited there as part of a funerary practice.

Other objects found alongside the human remains include fragments of basketry, textiles, and fibers that likely were part of the bundle that enveloped them. The team also discovered utensils and tools for domestic-ritual use.

Valadez Moreno explains that in indigenous societies in northeastern Mexico, there were funeral customs to conceal burial sites.

According to chronicles of the time, when a mother died during childbirth or shortly after, the baby was sacrificed to accompany her.

In some cases, such as twin births, it was considered a bad omen, and one of the newborns was buried alive.

The same fate befell any infant showing signs of malformation or congenital defects. In the northeastern region of the country, rustic mausoleums were practiced in caves, shelters, or secluded places, where there was a clear effort to conceal the burial site, noted the archaeologist.

In addition to the human remains, researchers recovered around 1,500 artifacts of ritual and domestic use, such as spear points, polished stones, and punches, ranging from 4,500 to 2,500 years BP.

They also found organic materials such as cord fragments and basketry dating back around 3,000 years BP.

All these discoveries provide new information about the ancient communities that inhabited this region of the country.

The findings add to the nearly 30,000 cultural remains collected since 2003 at La Morita II.

Excavations continue to yield important data about the pre-Hispanic cultures of northeastern Mexico.


Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) of Mexico

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