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

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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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