Although the archaeologists knew about the existence of prehistoric fauna in this region but they never imagined that a huge number of mammoth fossils were present below the grounds of the New Felipe Angeles International Airport.
In 2019, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) reported the discovery of mammoth bone remains during excavations made at what will be the New Felipe AngelesInternational Airport in Zumpango, State of Mexico.
Initially it was thought that it was a dozen mammoth fossils preserved by time, however, to date, at least sixty of them have been found. The discoveries have not slowed down work at the Santa Lucía military base , according to statements by INAH’s rescue director, Salvador Pulido.
The number of mammoth fossils is such that one was even found on the premises where the future Airport Control Tower will be located . Another one was found in the terrain of the tracks.
“The Control Tower has a foundation of up to four meters and just on the perimeter was one of these fossils was found. Then the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) was asked to “wait for us, stop digging any more.” We started to do the excavations with techniques, with archaeological methods, which are much more delicate. ”Salvador Pulido added.
More than 60 mammoth fossils, an unexpected find
Although the terrain was known to contain Pleistocene fauna , dating back to 35,000 BC and even before the colony, before the airport was built , they did not imagine how many mammoths they would find. The area where the greatest number of finds has been found is the one that was once Lake Xaltocan .
Initially, three archaeologists with three assistants each were in charge of the project; Currently there are already 31 archaeologists with their respective team.
“ The main challenge has been that precisely the wealth of fauna and vestiges has been greater than what we had considered. We have over six dozen mammoths, almost all of them are of the Columbi variety, Colombian mammoth, and other fauna associated with the Pleistocene, such as bison, some camel, a little horse. ”The national coordinator of Anthropology of INAH, Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava, declared to the newspaper La Razón .
Despite the fact that the work of recovering the fauna has been slow, Sánchez Nava rules out that this translates into delays for the new airport. Aware that his work is meticulous and careful, he knows that the remains found are mobile and will not affect the design of the project; since it is not a pyramid or another immovable object. In addition to the fauna, they have also recovered 15 human skeletons from pre-Hispanic burials , pottery, obsidian and a dog buried as an offering.
Finally, he concluded by mentioning the high possibility of a museum project adjacent to the airport that recreates the history of the region.
” A museum that tells how the development of all that space was until the most recent time, reconstructing all the regional history, so that visitors have the opportunity to know what that place was like for more than 35,000 years .”