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Airport Work Halted for 200 Mammoth Skeletons

Friday, September 18, 2020

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Workers at a Mexico City construction site have discovered some big findings that are causing repeated pauses in construction of the new Santa Lucia airport.

More than 200 mammoth skeletons have been recovered thus far, making the site the new hotbed for remains of the animals that died somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago, according to the Associated Press.

The Site

The area is reportedly on the shores of an ancient lakebed that archeologists pose both attracted and then trapped the animals in its soil.

The amount of remains is rare, as Ashley Leger, a paleontologist at the California-based Cogstone Resource Management company, noted that a very specific set of conditions would have been needed for so many animals to die in one place.

The previously labeled largest find of mammoth bones was in Hot Springs, South Dakota, where about 61 sets of remains were found.

There are so many at the Santa Lucia site, according to reports, that observers have to accompany each bulldozer to ensure that work is stopped when new bones are discovered.

“We have about 200 mammoths, about 25 camels, five horses,” said archeologist Rubén Manzanilla López of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

For now, the mass finding is slowing down, but not stopping construction because the project site is so big.

The airport is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Other Digs

This isn’t the first time a construction site has uncovered a mass grave. In November 2017, the skeletons of 328 people were removed by archaeologists in the spot that had once been home to Philadelphia’s First Baptist Church cemetery, many of which date from the 1700s.

There was also another group of 79 graves discovered, which were interred on the property in the 19th century that were removed as well. The site was under construction for a 10-story apartment complex in Philadelphia’s Old City.



Tagged categories: Airports; Commercial Construction; Good Technical Practice; Latin America; SA

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