A group of archeologists have found a lost Mayan city in the jungle of the Mexican state Campeche, which they called Lagunita. Covered with monumental buildings, squares, a walled area for the ballgame ‘Pelota’, also known as a ball court, and a pyramid of nearly 20 meters high! How could this be hidden that long you’d ask yourself.
The Biosphere Reserve of Calakmul in Campeche was already named a cultural and natural heritage of the world by UNESCO, but what we did not know was that a Mayan city which was lost for decades and an urban center which wasn’t discovered until know, were sheltered in this area.
The site was visited in the ’70s by American archaeologist Eric Von Euw, who documented the facade and other stone monuments with yet unpublished drawings. However, the exact location of the city, referred to as “Lagunita” by Von Euw, remained lost. Lagunita was identified only after the archaeologists compared the newly found facade and monuments with Von Euw’s drawings.
The person responsible for re-finding this true treasure is the Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Sprajc, who together with his team discovered remains of human settlement in the northern area of the Biosphere Reserve, as reported by the National Research Center of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2013 the same team already other found massive remains as they explored the area around Chactun.
One of the most interesting facts is that inside one of the monuments a zoomorphic figure has been found, which represents the open jaws of the earth monster associated with the underworld, water and fertility in Mayan cosmology.
The urban center that was found that has been named “Tachén”, which means deep well. It has lots of places to store corn or capture rainwater and there are several squares and buildings, including a ceremonial pyramid with a stelae (tall sculpted stone shaft) and an altar (low circular stone) at the base.
According to researchers, the reported findings are getting highlighted with importance due to their architectural features and the large number of residential buildings that remain, which provide many data for the history of Campeche and particularly about the Maya.
Personally, I would enjoy being able to visit a place like this during the research and to learn about the adventure the archeologist experience while browsing through the jungle for more information on its past. Can you imagine doing that? Must feel like a true Indiana Jones!
PS. you might be interested in reading as well about Copan; the city of bats!
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