The mysteries of the Loltún Grottoes reveal the lifestyle of the Maya 10,000 years ago

Lol Tun means "stone flower" and does a great honor to the site. (Photo: Sandra Salvadó / The Shortest Way)

The Loltún Grottoes are one of the most interesting and little explored routes for adventurers who visit Yucatán.

YUCATAN, (August 25, 2021).- Loltún comes from the Maya Lol “Flower” and Tun “Piedra”, “Flower of Stone”. It is an archaeological site in Yucatan where the archaeological and cultural evidence and remains suggest the use of the site as a camp in the early stages and later residential.

Objects have been found in this part of the Yucatan Peninsula dating back to 9000 AD, and evidence of the domestication of plants and animals and the incorporation of architecture and sculpture into their daily activities, illustrating the social process that led the nomadic man to become sedentary.

In addition, it has been found that the Loltún caves were used for housing, but that over the years, it is used as a place for water supply. In addition, 145 wall paintings and 42 petroglyphs have been found so far.

What’s in the Grutas de Loltún?

These caves are the largest and most well-known within the cavern system located in the southern part of Yucatán and have been equipped to safely carry out a journey of about 1,000 meters in length through illuminated paths, where the visitor can learn about the natural history and culture of the northern Maya area in a period that spans more than 10,000 years, from the Pleistocene to contemporary times.

There are several rooms, galleries and bedrooms almost 60 meters deep and over more than 700 meters long, where they have been found archaeological pieces, ceramics, stone artifacts, seashells , petroglyphs, corresponding to the Mayan culture in its different stages of development.

In these fascinating caves, remains of extinct fauna have also been found , such as mammoth, bison and feline bones. The low relief known as the Warrior of Loltún stands out, located at the Nahkab (beehive) entrance, which seems to be emerging from the caves and is believed to be the god of the underworld.

In this room, metates that were used to grind vegetable grains were also found attesting to the human activity that sheltered its walls. You can see cave paintings with motifs of hands, faces, animals, frets or inscriptions and a great variety of petroglyphs, among which those with flower motifs stand out, from which the place takes its name.

From the 19th century, there are barricades built by Maya rebels who took refuge in the caves of the region during the so-called Caste War. You can see traventine formations that have been baptized as La Catedral, La Galería del Cañón, La Mazorca de Maíz, El Cuarto de las Estalactitas, etc.

In the room called the Musical Colonnade Room, formed by the union of stalactites and stalagmites that when struck produce sounds with different tones, or a gallery with its collapsed vault, through whose cavity the roots of the trees and the rays of the sun descend.

In the Huechil (armadillo), excavations were carried out where at its lowest levels remains of extinct fauna such as mammoth, bison, and feline bones were found, which indicate a period of cold climate and vegetation different from the current one. They have also appeared Stone tools produced by the first inhabitants of the peninsula.

The caves are part of the extensive cavernous system located in the south of the state of Yucatan and can be easily explored accompanied by a guide. They have an extension of 8 to 10 km but only the 2 km that are open to the public have been explored.

Loltún caves

Where: 7 km. southwest of Oxkutzkab and 24 km. northwest of the ruins of Labná.

When: with guide 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm, all year round.

How much: $ 55 general. Grotto $ 146 pesos.

Source: MX City

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