Daring underwater retrieval of ancient teen’s bones is featured in a new documentary
A teenage girl climbed into an underground cave around 13,000 years ago. Edging through the ink-dark chamber, she accidentally plunged to her death at the bottom of a deep pit.
Rising seas eventually inundated the cave, located on Central America’s Yucatán Peninsula. But that didn’t stop scuba divers from finding and retrieving much of the girl’s skeleton in 2007.
“First Face of America,” a new NOVA documentary airing February 7 on PBS, provides a closeup look at two dangerous underwater expeditions that resulted in the discovery and salvaging of bones from one of the earliest known New World residents, dubbed Naia.
The program describes how studies of Naia’s bones (SN: 6/14/14, p. 6) and of genes from an 11,500-year-old infant recently excavated in Alaska have generated fresh insights into how