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Dominican Republic Discoveries

A prehistoric, water-filled cave in the Dominican Republic has become a "treasure trove" for Indiana University archaeologists and an interdisciplinary team of collaborators. Stone tools, a small primate skull, and the claws, jawbone and other bones of several species of sloths are among the finds that are expected to give insight into the earliest inhabitants of the Greater Antilles and the animals they encountered.

Charles Beeker, director of Academic Diving and Underwater Science Programs at IU Bloomington's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, holds up an intact primate skull recovered from the cave.

A primate skull enlarged with a magnifying glass.

Charles Beeker (left) and Geoffrey Conrad examine some of the bones and lithics which have been transported to Beeker's underwater science lab for further study.

Geoffrey Conrad, director of the Mathers Museum of World Culture at IU Bloomington and professor of anthropology, discusses the sloth bones, stone tools and a rare primate skull found in a water-filled Dominican Republic cave.

Conrad closely examines one of the stone tools recovered from the cave.