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Lost City Discovered In The Honduran Rain Forest

DEEP IN THE HONDURAN JUNGLE, IN THE LA MOSQUITIA VALLEY AREA, A TEAM OF ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTHED EVIDENCE OF A LOST CITY, INCLUDING AN EFFIGY OF A HALF-HUMAN, HALF-JAGUAR SPIRIT, A PLAZA AND A PYRAMID.

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A team of archaeologists, while searching for the ancient City of the Monkey God, discovered on something much more incredible: not just a lost city, but an entire civilization lost in the annals of time.

In 2012, an aerial survey of a remote, unexplored valley in Honduras revealed the ruins of a pre-Columbian city. Some thought that it may have been the City of the Monkey God. As theNational Geographic reported:

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“For a hundred years, explorers and prospectors told tales of the white ramparts of a lost city glimpsed above the jungle foliage. Indigenous stories speak of a ‘white house’ or a ‘place of cacao’ where Indians took refuge from Spanish conquistadores—a mystical, Eden-like paradise from which no one ever returned.”

The team embarked, with the permission and support of the Honduran government, to try to locate this lost city. Not only did they find said city, but they found evidence of an entire civilization with “extensive plaza, earthworks, mounds, and an earthen pyramid.” There was also a “remarkable cache” of 50 stone sculptures.

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Christopher Fisher, an archaeologist on the team, remarked that finding a city like this in unspoiled condition was “incredibly rare.” The site is estimated to date back to around 1400 A.D.

The most astounding part of the discovery of this city is the realization that it is likely one of many “lost cities” that thrived a millennia ago. Since then, the cities, and their inhabitants, disappeared into the jungle.

THE EXPEDITION WAS LAUNCHED AFTER AERIAL LIGHT DETECTION SCANNING — KNOWN AS LIDAR — UNCOVERED WHAT APPEARED TO BE MAN-MADE STRUCTURES BELOW THE RAINFOREST. ONCE THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE ELUSIVE SITE WAS CONFIRMED, STEVE ELKINS AND BILL BENENSON ASSEMBLED A GROUP OF EXPERTS TO VERIFY LIDAR’S AERIAL FINDINGS. THEY INCLUDED ARCHEOLOGISTS FROM THE U.S. AND HONDURAS, A LIDAR ENGINEER, AN ANTHROPOLOGIST AND EVEN BRITISH SOLDIERS TRAINED IN JUNGLE SURVIVAL SKILLS. ALSO IN TOW WAS AN ETHNOBOTANIST AS WELL AS A WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WHO HELPED CHRONICLE THE FIND. THE TEAM SET UP BASE IN A SMALL TOWN ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE JUNGLE AND USED THE MILITARY HELICOPTER AT THEIR DISPOSAL, TO FLY BACK AND FORTH FROM LOCATION OF THE ANCIENT CITY.

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THE TOPS OF 52 ARTIFACTS WERE PEEKING FROM THE EARTH. MANY MORE EVIDENTLY LIE BELOW GROUND, WITH POSSIBLE BURIALS. THEY INCLUDE STONE CEREMONIAL SEATS (CALLED METATES) AND FINELY CARVED VESSELS DECORATED WITH SNAKES, ZOOMORPHIC FIGURES, AND VULTURES. THE MOST STRIKING OBJECT EMERGING FROM THE GROUND IS THE HEAD OF WHAT FISHER SPECULATED MIGHT BE “A WERE-JAGUAR,” POSSIBLY DEPICTING A SHAMAN IN A TRANSFORMED, SPIRIT STATE. ALTERNATIVELY, THE ARTIFACT MIGHT BE RELATED TO RITUALIZED BALL GAMES THAT WERE A FEATURE OF PRE-COLUMBIAN LIFE IN MESOAMERICA. “THE FIGURE SEEMS TO BE WEARING A HELMET,” SAID FISHER. TEAM MEMBER OSCAR NEIL CRUZ, HEAD ARCHAEOLOGIST AT THE HONDURAN INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY AND HISTORY (IHAH), BELIEVES THE ARTIFACTS DATE TO A.D. 1000 TO 1400.

WHO WERE THESE PEOPLE? ARCHAEOLOGISTS ESTIMATE THAT THE CITY DATES TO BETWEEN 1000 A.D. AND 1400 A.D., AND WHILE THE INHABITANTS COULD BEAR A RESEMBLANCE TO THEIR NEIGHBORS—THE MAYA.

IN 1928, AVIATOR CHARLES LINDBERG REPORTED SEEING “AN AMAZING ANCIENT METROPOLIS” DURING A FLIGHT OVER CENTRAL AMERICA. A FEW YEARS LATER, ANTHROPOLOGIST, W.D. STRONG, MADE AN EXPEDITION TO THE SAME AREA AND CLAIMED TO HAVE FOUND A “LOST” CITY THAT WAS ABOUT FIVE SQUARE MILES LONG. THEODORE MORDE, AN AMERICAN ADVENTURER, MAY HAVE FOUND THE SITE DURING A 1940 EXPEDITION, BUT DIED WITHOUT REVEALING THE LOCATION. HE DESCRIBED A CITY WHERE A GIANT MONKEY DEITY WAS ONCE WORSHIPPED AND LOCAL TRIBES DESCRIBED MYTHS OF HALF-HUMAN, HALF-SIMIAN CHILDREN. THE EXPEDITION WAS SEEKING THE SITE OF THE LEGENDARY “WHITE CITY”, ALSO KNOWN AS THE “CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD”, A GOAL FOR WESTERN EXPLORERS SINCE THE DAYS OF THE SPANISH CONQUISTADORES IN THE 16TH CENTURY.

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“Old World disease decimated native populations in the Americas starting with the fall of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan,” Fisher told the Huffington Post. “These same diseases then raced person to person throughout the Americas with an incredible mortality rate. Like every other ancient culture in the Americas the impact of these events would have had devastating consequences for the ancient peoples of the Mosquitia.”

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