A prehistoric underwater cave in the Dominican Republic has become a 'treasure' with the announcement of Indiana University archaeologists about the discovery of stone tools, a small primate skull in status. intact, with claws, jaw bones and other bones of some lazy species.
These findings have extended thousands of years of research under the direction of Charles Beeker, overseeing the Underwater Science Program at IU Bloomingotn School of Health, Physical Education, and multi-team collaborators. his specialty. Researchers focused on the period only about 500 years ago, the time of meeting between the Old World and the New World after Christopher Columbus stepped onto the Caribbean shore. This rare discovery is expected to bring new insights into the earliest living people in the Greater Antilles and the animals they met.
Beeker said: 'To be honest, I can't believe my eyes when looking at each of these incredible specimens. The nearly intact skeleton of the extinct animal pants really stunned me, but the fire pit from the first human life on the island seemed to be perfect to believe the truth. However, after the stone tools were certified, I couldn't wait to make another underwater expedition into the cave that would become one of the most important prehistoric positions in the Caribbean. '
Beeker and researchers Jessica Keller and Harley McDonald have discovered tools and bones in the 28-34 feet deep freshwater area in a cave called Padre Neustro. Also in that cave, Taino artifacts were found. Taino are the first Native Americans to meet Europeans. Beeker and his colleagues dived into the cave, lying under a limestone slope and could only enter after diving into a small area, since 1996.
Geoffrey Conrad, director of the Mathers World Cultural Museum at IU Bloomington and professor of anthropology, said the tools date from 4,000 to 6,500 years ago. The bones found can have a lifespan of 4,000 to 10,000 years. Lazy bones are not a rare thing, but he only knows very few primates are found in the Caribbean.
Picture 1 of The first resident of the CaribbeanJessica Kellers crowned primate discovered at Padre Neustro Cave. (Photo: Indiana University)
Conrad, the deputy principal of research at IU Bloomington, said: 'I don't know where at the same time there are primates, lazy and man-made stone tools. This cave is a treasure of data that helps us classify the temporal relationship between humans and extinct animals in the Greater Antilles. This is the position to be studied on a large scale. '
The three stone tools and the rest, made of basalt and limestone, were analyzed by two famous anthropologists Nicholas Toth and Kathy Schick, who said the stones are the size of their hands. shows the infallible signs of human ingenuity. Toth and Schick are co-directors of the Research Center for Technical Anthropology, the Stone Age Academy at Bloomington.
IU primate expert Kevin Hunt says the skull found may belong to the howling monkey, an extinct animal in the Caribbean. Keller said the lazy species' bones are derived from 6 or 7 sloths and include several species, one of which is the size of a black bear and one is the size of a large dog. She said primates were significantly different from other primates found in the Caribbean.
"Very few primates are found in the Caribbean," she said. Other skulls, found in the late 1800s and early 1900s, were three times the size. We were allowed to bring this skull to Indiana University for further research '.
Conrad said the stone and bone tools found, which were taken to Beeker's lab, not only expanded the scope of the research program to an earlier time, but also led to a problem of concern. global - the extinction of native animals and birds when humans appear. The Caribbean lazy species is one of many animals that quickly became extinct after humans appeared.
Researchers at HPER's Underwater Science Office work closely with Dominican Republic's cultural, historical and tourism agencies and organizations to protect and explore natural and heritage history. culture of the country. Keller said the local people's interest in these findings is truly amazing. The cave where these specimens were discovered, part of the cave system that supplied water to a nearby resort, was closed for research.
Keller said: 'There is a lot of interest in protecting this cave in parallel with continuing research. Our partners were very excited from before we discovered the primates' skull.
The study was conducted in cooperation with the State Secretariat of Culture through the Office of Heritage in the United States and the Dominican Museum, the State Secretariat for Tourism, and the State Secretariat for the Environment and natural resources.