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Young girl's skeleton reveals Native American origins

Published on May 16, 2014 6:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A teenage girl who fell into a hole more than 12,000 years ago in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is offering new clues about the origins of the first Native Americans, researchers said on Thursday.

Named "Naia" by scientists, her skeleton is among the oldest known and best preserved in the Americas.

She was discovered by a team led by the Mexican government's National Institute of Anthropology and History and supported by the Washington-based National Geographic Society.

Naia's remains were found in 2007, submerged in an underwater cave along with the bones of saber tooth tigers, giant sloths and cave bears, some 135 feet (41 metres) below sea level.

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