(CNN) — Underwater archeologists in Mexico have discovered the world’s largest flooded cave.
The Great Maya Aquifer Project (GAM) team — committed to studying the mysterious waters of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula — spent years exploring the caves of Sac Actun and Dos Ojos in Tulum before connecting the two caverns together.
The explorers’ discovery marks the identification of an incredible archaeological site, illuminating the stories and rituals of the Mayan civilization.
“This immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world, as it has more than a hundred archaeological contexts”, says Guillermo de Anda, GAM director and researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History, in a statement.
“Along this system, we had documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture”, adds de Anda.
“Now everybody’s job is to conserve it,” he says.