This is the construction site of an airport in Mexico. But beneath the ground here is an entirely unrelated treasure trove: Over a hundred skeletons of mammoths, the ancient ancestors of elephants from the Ice Age.
It’s rapidly becoming one of the world’s biggest concentrations of mammoth bones, across nearly 200 excavation sites.
Lead archaeologist Ruben Manzanilla explained that around 24,000 years ago mammoth herds reached this site, attracted by its sprawling grasslands and lakes.
"This place was like a paradise but there was a downfall, which was the muddy grounds from the lake of Jaltocan. Then over many years the same story repeated itself: The animals ventured too far, got trapped and couldn't get their legs out of the muck, then the animals a slow death. At the time, the animals were eaten by the carnivores and by man.''
He also speculated that humans, snaring with pits and hunting with flint spears, may also be partly responsible for their disappearance.
''In Latin America this could become one of the most important sites, if not the most important. In the country as a whole, it has gained more importance in paleontological vestiges.''
Once the excavations are finished, the site, located near Mexico City, could rival others in the United States and Siberia as the world’s biggest deposit of mammoth skeletons.