A team of researchers and archaeologists emerged from the rainforests of Honduras last week bearing amazing news. The group has discovered an ancient lost city that belonged to a civilization that thrived a thousand years ago, then suddenly vanished altogether. The city is believed to be the legendary “White City” or the “City of the Monkey God,” which is only referred to in old tales. In fact the civilization lived in parallel with the Maya for a time, but so little is known about them that the people don’t even have an official name.
Apparently the city was completely abandoned by the people that inhabited it centuries ago. As a result, archaeologists now get a peek at what day-to-day life was like there. Although the structures are mostly covered in overgrowth and sediment, there were reportedly as many as 52 artifacts that were visible upon first survey. Those included statues, monuments, ceremonial seats, and other finely crated items.
The exact location of the site has not been revealed so as to protect it from looters, but we do know that it is in a remote area of the rainforest in a valley known as La Mosquitia. The region is dominated by swamps, rivers, and mountains, making it very difficult to pass through. The explorers who discovered it documented their findings, but mostly left it undisturbed until they can return with a proper team to begin further excavation.
The White City or Ciudad Blanca has been the stuff of legends for centuries. The indigenous people who live in the area have told tales of large white structures that stuck out of the rainforest for ages. It was believed that the city served as a place of refuge from invading Spanish conquistadors, and some of say that there is a large monkey statue hidden somewhere inside the city. A number of explorers have gone in search of the place in the past, including American explorer Theodore Morde, who claimed to have discovered the city back in 1940, although he committed suicide before he could confirm the location.
The outline of the city was first discovered back in 2012 by an arial laser-mapping system. The site was believed to be over a mile in length, and contained elements consistent with manmade structures hidden under the jungle. It has taken until now for a team to actually go and visit the place however and confirm the existence of the lost city.
There is no word yet on when another team of archaeologists will return to the White City, but with this amazing discovery, you can bet it won’t be too long before actual excavation operations will begin.
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