12,000-Year-Old Human Skeleton Found in Underwater Cave

Scientists have discovered what they say is the “oldest most complete” human skeleton in the Western hemisphere, the National Geographic Society reports.

The 12,000-year-old skeleton includes major bones, an intact cranium and a set of teeth. Naia, as the skeleton is named, was thought to be a girl around 15 or 16 years old when she died.

She was found among the remains of extinct animals — like sabertoothed cats and giant sloths — in Hoyo Negro, a flooded cave 130 feet below sea level on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Researchers used radiocarbon dating of tooth samples and the surrounding animals to estimate Naja’s age.

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