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2 Ancient Mayan Cities Discovered in the Mexico Jungle

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August 20, 2014

A sculpted stone called stelae found at the newly discovered ancient city Lagunita on the Yucatan peninsula. It was among the artifacts found in two Maya cities lost in the thick vegetation of the Mexico jungle.

For centuries, they were hidden in the silence of lush green forest of Mexico. But archaeologists finally discovered the two ancient Mayan cities in the jungles.

According to a report, the cities were situated in the southeastern part of the Mexican state of Campeche, on the Yucatan peninsula. Because of the thick vegetation in that area, they were barely accessible.

"Aerial photographs helped us in locating the sites," expedition leader Ivan Sprajc, of the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, said.

Sprajc along with his team found these huge remains as they continued to explore the area which was extended over 1800 square miles around Chactun, a large Maya city recognized by the Slovenian archaeologist in 2013.

This site was first located and visited in the 1970's by an American archaeologist named Eric Von Euw. He documented details of the facade and other stone monuments with drawings which remained unpublished until recently. But the exact location of one of the cities, Lagunita as referred by Von Euw, was never found.

The city reportedly featured an extraordinary facade with an entrance representing the open jaws of an earth monster, and that was when Laguinita was identified after the archaeologists compared the recently discovered facade and monuments with Eric Von Euw's drawings.

"The monster-mouth facade represents a Maya earth deity related with fertility. These doorways symbolize the entrance to a cave and to the watery underworld; a place of the mythological origin of maize and the abode of ancestors," Sprajc was quoted saying.

Also a number of huge palace like structures, a ball court, and a temple pyramid with a height of 65 ft along with 10 stelae (tall sculpted stone shafts) and three altars were found. They featured extremely well preserved hieroglyphic inscriptions. Experts claimed that they may have been built during 300BC - 250AD.

The other unknown city that was discovered by Sprajc was named Tamchen, which means "deep well" in Yucatec Maya. Inside Tamchen, more that 30 chultuns were located justifying the name of the city. Chultuns are bottle shaped chambers mostly used to collect rain water.

Tamchen was surrounded by large buildings - the remains of an citadel supporting a courtyard with three temples. A pyramid temple with a sanctuary on top, a stelae, and an altar at its base were also discovered.

"Both cities open new questions about the diversity of Maya culture, the role of that largely unexplored area in the lowland Maya history, and its relations with other polities," Sprajc said.

Original Story