Honduran archaeologists have unearthed ceramics that could be part of the mysterious White City of the Monkey God. Excavations have begun in association with teams from the United States near the Caribbean coast.
The long-rumored and oft claimed to have been found, White City of the Monkey God has eluded archaeologists for quite some time. However, Honduran authorities might be actually close to uncovering the near-mythical city. Officials have confirmed the excavations that began on Wednesday have so far yielded about five dozen stone and ceramic fragments. While the actual age of the artifacts is still to be ascertained, experts are highly optimistic that they have stumbled upon the "White City."
The dig is being carried out by archaeologists from Honduras' Institute of Anthropology and Colorado State University. The site, believed to be the "City of the Monkey God," is located in Honduras' jungle-covered Mosquito coastal region, reports Fox News.
There have been a lot of finds in the past that archeologists and treasure hunters have claimed to belong to the "White City." However, Honduras has lot of artifacts that belong to the Mayan civilization. Incidentally, a team of archeologists had claimed to have found the White City last year. According to National Geographic, archaeologists surveyed and mapped extensive plazas, earthworks, mounds, and an earthen pyramid. They also discovered a huge cache of beautifully preserved stone sculptures that had lain untouched for about a century.The White City ceramics that the Honduran archaeologists have unearthed are finely carved vessels decorated with snakes, zoomorphic figures, vultures, buzzards, lizards, birds and jaguars, reports Canada Journal. Confirming the artifacts do not belong to the Mayan civilization, Institute Director Virgilio Paredes has made the following statement.
"It is a new culture, or a different culture."While the previous expedition last year has found "a were-jaguar," which the Honduran archeologists suspect depicts a shaman in a transformed, spirit state; this year's findings include a ceremonial seat or throne made of stone that has been carved into a figure also depicting a jaguar, reports The Telegraph.
The mysterious White City is named after the artifacts that are predominantly built from the white limestone rock that is abundantly found in the area. The "Monkey God" part of the city's name is derived from the mystical half-human, half-monkey deity that's commonly worshipped in the South Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka. Folklore says the White City also contains a giant statue of the Monkey God that lies buried deep within the ruins. The Monkey God is named "Hanuman" in Indian scriptures.There have been dozens of expeditions in the past that have claimed to have come across the legendary White City, but each expedition's leader has chosen to keep the exact location a mystery. One of the most famous expeditions sought the help of laser mapping techniques. The survey, conducted in 2012, used a million-dollar LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner that flew over the dense jungle. The images captured by the scanner proved that the area was undeniably and entirely "reshaped by human hands." The Honduran archaeologists claim the ceramics belong to the same pre-Colombian city. One of the possible reasons there are so many conflicting and contradicting reports about the White City is that there might not be one city. Some experts believe there could be many such "lost cities," which collectively form a lost civilization.
The rain forest where the Honduran archaeologists have been digging is increasingly threatened by rampant deforestation. Additionally, countless artifacts have been looted to be sold in the thriving antiquities black market. Given the sensitivity of the find, the exact location is still being kept a closely-guarded secret.
[Photo by David Hiser/Getty Images]