Indiana Jones may have inspired a myriad of archaeologists back in the 80s. Harrison Ford’s fedora-donning persona always brought a gun to a sword fight and a whip almost everywhere. The fedora and whip are considered classic icons to fans who love the series, even if Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ended up being a better idea on paper.
The character became such an icon of classic storytelling that there could be a female casting in the future for the franchise. If Indy 5 becomes a box office and critical failure, a certain star of the first two Transformers films wants to wear the fedora and whip in a reboot. It’s unclear if Megan Fox would actually be considered, but she’s willing.
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A teenager in Quebec might not be famous for his on-screen whip-cracking antics in archaeological dig sites, but he’s managed to do more than the infamous Indiana Jones without even leaving his home. Fifteen-year-old William Gadoury may have found a lost Mayan city, and he could have even done it in his underwear.
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That alone could be an interesting basis for a film, admittedly. Gadoury took satellite images of what appears to be an oddly shaped patch of greenery which stands out from the surrounding area and corresponded it with Mayan constellations. The theory is that Mayans corresponded their constellations with their cities, and one particular group of stars went generally unobserved. This group of stars lined up with what may be a new city William called “Fire Mouth,” or K’aak ‘Chi in Mayan.
“I did not understand why the Maya built their cities away from rivers, on marginal lands, and in the mountains. They must have had another reason, and as they worshiped the stars, the idea came to me to verify my hypothesis. I was really surprised and excited when I realized that the most brilliant stars of the constellations matched the largest Maya cities.”
Gadoury was inspired by the hype surrounding the prediction of the Mayan apocalypse, which as we now know was just the last day of their calendar. It would be the equivalent today of future civilizations finding our calendars and assuming that the world ended every year on January 1 at midnight.
Not everyone is impressed with Gadoury’s Indiana Jones-like discovery, however. Thomas Garrison of USC Dornsife shot down the idea of the large Mayan city.
“I applaud the young kid’s effort and it’s exciting to see such interest in the ancient Maya and remote sensing technology in such a young person. However, ground-truthing is the key to remote sensing research. You have to be able to confirm what you are identifying in a satellite image or other type of scene. In this case, the rectilinear nature of the feature and the secondary vegetation growing back within it are clear signs of a relic milpa. I’d guess its been fallow for 10-15 years. This is obvious to anyone that has spent any time at all in the Maya lowlands. I hope that this young scholar will consider his pursuits at the university level so that his next discovery (and there are plenty to be made) will be a meaningful one.”
It seems Indiana Jones, though fictional, did one thing that William Gadoury didn’t. He actually went to the site to see his discoveries in person. Thankfully, Garrison’s possible destruction of Gadoury’s theory was a polite one.
[Image via SarkaSch/Shutterstock.com]