Canadian Teen Discovers Lost Mayan City?

Posted: May 11 2016, 11:58am CDT | by , Updated: May 11 2016, 8:03pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Canadian Teen Discovers Lost Mayan City?
Satellite images might hint on ancient Mayan city buried in the remote jungle of Yucatan. Credit: Canadian Space Agency

The 15-year old boy believes that he has found the traces of a lost Mayan city buried in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

A 15-year old Canadian boy believes that he has found the evidence of a lost Mayan city in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and he did that with the help of just Google maps and a star chart.

The teen named William Gadoury has an extensive knowledge of Mayan civilization. The ancient civilization was developed by Maya people in an area than known as Mesoamerica or modern-day Mexico and Central America. The thing that fascinates the kid most about the Maya people is the selection of place where they used to build their towns or cities and he theorizes that Mayan cities are aligned with major constellations.

To test the theory, Gadoury looked through Google Maps and Google Earth images. He found there is a certain pattern in which Mayan cities have built. All 117 known Mayan cities were perfectly matching 22 constellations but he noticed that one of the stars of 23rd constellation was unmatched to any known city and it was pointing to the location of a remote jungle of Yucatan Peninsula.

“The Mayans were extremely good builders, but they often built in places that made little practical sense – far from rivers, far from fertile areas. It seemed strange for the civilization that was so intelligent. I knew they were good at astronomy, so I tried to make the link.” Gadoury told CBC News.

To crosscheck the theory, Gadoury met project officer at Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Daniel De Lisle who gladly provided him all the required assistance. He was given access to the high resolution satellite images taken by NASA. They were surprised to find that some man-made structures were visible underneath the dense vegetation of Yucatan. They found the traces of something like a Mayan pyramid which was covered by dozens of smaller structures. They could possibly be alleys and streets that may have remained hidden despite advanced imagery technology.

Where the Canadian teen is receiving appreciation both from public and scientists at CSA, there are many experts who claim that the story has been blown out of proportion. They suggest that the idea that Mayans build cities matching up constellations seems a bit ambitious.

“Maya constellations that we know of, with the exception of Scorpio, bear no relation to those we find on modern star maps.” Anthony Aveni, a founder of the field of archeoastronomy told Wired.

Nevertheless, if it turned out otherwise, the new city could be one of five largest Mayan cities discovered so far. Gadoury has already an interesting name in his mind for the putative city and that is K'aak Chi, meaning “Fire Mouth.”

Gadoury says. “It would be the culmination of my three years of work and the dream of my life.”

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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