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Will Sac Actun end up on the UNESCO heritage list?

Spanish-language media are reporting on the efforts being made to have the Sac Actun cave system in Mexico declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All these efforts can be described as the aftermath of the recent discoveries and the merging of the Dos Ojos and Sac Actun systems into one, resulting in the longest flooded
Published: February 22, 2018 - 15:08
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:29
Will Sac Actun end up on the UNESCO heritage list?

Spanish-language media are reporting on the efforts being made to have the Sac Actun cave system in Mexico declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All these efforts can be described as the aftermath of the recent discoveries and the merging of the Dos Ojos and Sac Actun systems into one, resulting in the longest flooded cave system in the world.

Why is the Sac Actun cave system so remarkable? Well, for several different reasons, each of which is important and makes this place an extremely unique and valuable site that has become a permanent part of human civilisation.

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Firstly, we recently reported on the discovery of a link between the Dos Ojos and Sac Actun systems. This resulted in the absorption of the smaller – Dos Ojos and thus made Sac Actun the longest flooded cave system. The karst tunnels stretching for hundreds of kilometres, however, are not only a great place for cave diving or a geologist’s paradise.

During the exploration and attempts to find the connection between the systems, almost 200 archaeological sites were discovered! Considering that at the time when the glacier receded, the water level here was 100 metres lower, the Sac Actun corridors are a real time capsule, allowing us to learn about the past of Yucatán and its inhabitants.

The conditions created by the flooding of the system have ideally preserved animal remains dating back to the Pleistocene, the first people to inhabit the Yucatan, and have also become a treasure trove of artefacts associated with the Maya people. Of the archaeological sites that have been located, almost three quarters concern the remains of Mayan culture.

As you can see, Sac Actun is more than just a vast octopus of karst passageways and another place for cave lovers to get gloomy. We are dealing here with a real rarity. A treasure to be cared for, properly secured and its secrets to be discovered.

Source: lajornadamaya.mx

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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