The inconspicuous Naharon section of the underwater cave Sistema Naranjal in Tulum, Mexico yielded a skeleton of a 20-25-year-old female, originally found by underwater researcher Octavio del Rio in 2001, during excavations carried out in the cenotes (sinkholes) and caves across Quintana Roo. Further research by Arturo González (director of the Desert Museum in Saltillo) and his team between the years 2004 to 2008 confirmed how the remains were the oldest known human relic found in the Americas, with carbon dating suggesting how she lived about 13,600 years ago. Christened as the ‘Eve of Naharon’ (or Eva de Naharon in Spanish), the woman has now been visually reconstructed – courtesy of the collaborative effort from National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH) and well-known Brazilian 3D designer Cicero Moraes.
Fortuitously for the archaeologists, in spite of the 13,000-year old legacy of the Eve of Naharon, the remains were well preserved – with National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) researchers estimating that 80 percent of the skeleton retained its original structure. This allowed the researchers to analyze the anthropological scope of the prehistoric young woman, who was judged to be around 4.6-ft tall.
Interestingly enough, in the recent years, archaeologists have come across eight skeletons of similar age in and around the specific site, with one example pertaining to the remains of a young girl given the moniker of Naia (named after the water nymphs from ancient Greek mythology). As for the reconstruction in question here, already aided by the anthropological studies, the researchers were also able to use state-of-the-art forensic techniques to reconstruct the face of Eve of Naharon. The project in itself is in its late stages and the full reveal of the recreation of the 13,000-year old ‘American’ girl will be made later this year.
Video Source: Agencia EFE