Ruined Mayan City Discovered In Jungle By Explorers

Mayan City
(Photo : Photo Courtesy of National Institute of Anthropology and History)

It's the kind of things Indiana Jones would search for: a ruined Mayan city, waiting to be found, it secrets long forgotten by the modern world. (Just look out for snakes.)

The only difference  is, this actually--according to archeologists, an entire Mayan city full of pyramids and palatial complexes has been discovered in a remote jungle in southeastern Mexico.

The ruins were found in Campeche, a province in the western Yucatán peninsula. Campeche is known for its Mayan complexes and ruins, so it comes as no surprise to researchers that more were found in the area. What is surprising is how large of a complex was found-nearly 54 acres of never before seen Mayan ruins.  The newfound site has been dubbed Chactún. Archeologists believe that the city was occupied during the Late Classic Maya period, from roughly A.D. 600 until A.D. 900, when the civilization mysteriously collapsed.

"It is one of the largest sites in the Central Lowlands, comparable in its extent and the magnitude of its buildings with Becan, Nadzcaan and El Palmar in Campeche," archaeologist Ivan Sprajc said in a statement from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

According to the release put out by the INAH, Sprajc and his team have so far found three monumental complexes with the remains of pyramids - one 75 feet high - as well as ball courts, plazas, homes, altars, pieces of painted stucco and stone slabs known as stele. Epigraphers are still poring over inscriptions at Chactún, but one stele refers to an apparent ruler named K'inich B'ahlam, the researchers say.

Traces of the lost city were first spotted in aerial images of a vast forested area, which previously had only been explored by loggers and rubber-tappers.

"With aerial photographs examined stereoscopically, we found many features that were obviously architectural remains," Sprajc explained in a statement from INAH. "From there we took the coordinates and the next step was to locate the ancient alleys used by tappers and loggers to reach the area."



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