Two ancient Mayan cities found

Last updated 15:30 23/08/2014
mayan city
REUTERS
ANCIENT HISTORY: The remains of an ancient Mayan city in Lagunita.

Relevant offers

Americas

Photo of young transgender girl sends powerful message about US bathroom laws US police shoot boy holding BB gun Venezuela declares 2-day workweek due to severe electricity shortages Watch: Dramatic car chase in Chile ends with gunfire, arrests Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton sparring over 'woman card' as election theme Republican Cruz taps Carly Fiorina as running mate Interrupted computer game-playing dad allegedly killed 2-year-old girl Canadian rail bridge destroyed in spectacular fire Father catches son when seatbelt fails on rollercoaster in US Los Angeles police want to know whether teen was an undiscovered Manson victim

Archaeologists have found two ancient Mayan cities hidden in the jungle of southeastern Mexico, and the lead researcher says he believes there are "dozens" more to be found in the region.

Ivan Sprajc, associate professor at the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, said his team found the ancient cities of Lagunita and Tamchen on the Yucatan peninsula in April by examining aerial photographs of the region.

Sprajc said the two cities reached their heyday in the Late and Terminal Classic periods (600-1000 AD). At each site, researchers found palace-like buildings, pyramids and plazas. One of the pyramids is almost 20 meters high.

They also found a facade featuring a monster-mouth doorway, which probably marked one of the main entrances to the center of the city. Photographs from the sites showed stone pyramids jutting out from beneath dense foliage.

"The entrance apparently symbolises the entrance to a cave and to the underworld ... Someone entering through this doorway would have entered sacred precincts," he told Reuters by telephone from Slovenia on Friday.

Sprajc said his team mapped 10-12 hectares (25-30 acres) at each site, but the cities were probably larger. "We elaborated a map but only of the religious and administrative centers of the two sites," he said, "that's only like downtown."

His team has not yet excavated the sites.

"There are dozens of sites that I already have seen on the aerial photographs," he added, noting that additional discoveries depend on further funding.

Last summer, Sprajc discovered another ancient Mayan city, Chactun, 10 km north of Lagunita and 6 km northwest of Tamchen.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content