Two lost cities have been found in a deep jungle of Honduras, and archaeologists are uncovering a past which includes a pyramid, plazas, and lots of precious artifacts in the valley of La Mosquitia.
According to The Guardian, three British bushwhacking guides, archaeology specialists, and some Honduran special forces went on foot to inspect an area in the valley where an aerial survey from 2012 showed signs of ruins. The expedition was co-coordinated by filmmakers Steve Elkins and Bill Benenson, the government of Honduras, and National Geographic.
Some speculation around one of the lost two cities involves a city known as the “City of the Monkey God.” Food World News claims this city was a metropolis known for its white precipices and was also called the “White City.” Legends tell of Indians taking refuge from Spanish conquistadors in the White City. Some people believe it could be a possible location of the mythical city of El Dorado. Further investigation is needed to determine if one of the cities is indeed the “City of the Monkey God.”
One thing seems for certain: these cities have not been seen for at least 600 years, according to the lead U.S. archaeologist, Chris Fisher.
“Even the animals acted as if they’ve never seen people. Spider monkeys are all over the place, and they’d follow us around and throw food at us and hoot and holler and do their thing. To be treated not as a predator but as another primate in their space was for me the most amazing thing about this whole trip.”
Researchers believe the area dates between 1000 C.E. and 1400 C.E. Along with evidence of stone structural foundations reminiscent of Mayan ruins, the people who once lived there were not Mayan people.
The head of Honduras’ National Anthropology and History Institute, Virgilio Paredes, said 52 artifacts were found and shown to be specifically distinct from the Mayans. Some artifacts were half-buried stone sculptures, a bowl made with intricate carvings, and some sculptures which had merged animal and human features.
Although the researchers found quite a lot among the ruins, they did not have a permit to excavate in the Honduras jungle.
“That’s the problem with archaeology is it takes a long time to get things done, another decade if we work intensively there, but then we’ll know a little more,” Fisher said about the two lost cities in the Honduras jungle.
The site where the lost cities were found was very close to land being deforested for cow farms which sell beef to fast-food restaurants.
The thought that these lost cities could have truly been lost, and others could be lost due to global demands in the area worry Fisher.
“I keep thinking of those monkeys looking at me not having seen people before. To lose this over a burger, it’s a really hard pill to swallow.”
It is thought that European diseases contributed to the disappearance of the cultures and the abandonment of the two lost cities in the Honduras jungle, but more research will be needed to know more.
[Photo by Dave Yoder/National Geographic]