More than a hundred bones of animals, some of which could possibly be human bones from the final stages of the Pleistocene period, more than 10,000 years ago, were found in Atontonilco de Tula, Hidalgo, during the construction work of a blackwater treatment plant, where archaeologists of the National Institute of Archaeology and History
(INAH Conaculta) made the rescue.
The types of osseous remains of the extinct animals some of which measure up to 1.60 meters (5.3 feet) can be categorized in ribs, vertebras, craniums, jawbones, fangs, horns and shells, of species such as the glyptodont, mastodon, mammoth, camel, equine, deer, possible bison and others yet unidentifiable.
In the ensemble of bones of the megafauna, two stone tools of the same epoch were discovered; they had remained buried for various millenniums near the site where the drain channel of Mexico City leads to. The salvage of these remains required meticulous archaeological excavation labors that lasted five months.
This is the most numerous and varied finding of extinct megafauna remains, found together, registered up to date in Cuenca de Mexico, emphasized archaeologist Alicia Bonfil Olivera, as she released the news of the discovery that would help obtain vast information about the variety of animal species that lived in this part of the country about 10,000 or 12,000 years ago; tentatively dating from the last Pleistocene period, in the duration of which occurred the last glaciations of the Ice Age.
The finding of such quantity of animals of that epoch happened during the excavations, which in occasions reached up to 20 meters (65.7 feet) deep, to create a blackwater treatment plant, near El Salto river. The archaeological work was done by the joint labor of INAH through the Direction of Archaeological Salvage, the National Water Commission and the Valle de Mexico Water Treatment Company.
Alicia Bonfil detailed that the formulation of the archaeological salvage project developed by INAH started in March of 2011, with the purpose of protecting the historical and cultural heritage that might be found during the construction of said hydraulic plant.
After six months of remaining watchful of the works development, the archaeologist Bonfil Olivera, who coordinates the investigation and salvage project, studied a pre Historic settlement on a hill that was to belong to the hydraulic plant. However, when the excavation of the building site near the river reached seven meters (22.1 feet) deep, and bones of big dimensions started to be seen, it made the archaeologist aware the need to reconsider the investigation because of the discovery.
Scattered at distinct distances within an approximate extension of 100 acres, and between 7 and 10 meters (22.1 and 32.9 feet) deep, the team directed by the INAH specialist found more than 100 osseous remains, among which there seems to be some human bones which are mixed up with the extinct animal remains, the characteristics and size of some bones indicate they were human limbs, which is not strange since we know that humans already habituated in the central region of Mexico in that time, however, a physical anthropologist will have to confirm this fact.