Real-life Indiana Jones discovered lost Mayan city deep in jungle

The deep Mexican jungle is home to a freshly found ancient Mayan city after archaeologists discovered multiple large pyramids with heights of up to 15 metres inside an area measuring less than half a mile.

The site, which is located in the rainforest of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Mexican state of Campeche, dates from roughly AD 250 to 1000.

The Mayan name for it is Ocomtun, which translates to “stone column” in English.

Using laser technology from aircraft, a group of archaeologists discovered the pyramids while scanning the Maya lowlands, reports the Mirror. 

Researchers can investigate man-made structures that might be hidden deep within the surrounding vegetation by utilising this non-intrusive laser method.

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Lead archaeologist Ivan Ṡprajc, a department head at the Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies in Slovenia, said in the statement: “The site served as an important centre at the regional level probably during the Classic period (AD250-1000). The ceramics that we found on the surface and in some test pits are from the Late Classic period (AD 600-800),

“The biggest surprise is that the site is on a ‘peninsula’ of elevated land surrounded by extensive wetlands.

“The area covers more than 50 hectares and there are a lot of large structures including pyramids more than 15 metres high.”

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The Mirror reports that researchers believe that some of the buildings were for markets and community rituals.

Mr Ṡprajc emphasised the three squares which are in the south east of the area which have imposing buildings that are surrounded by patios.

He added: “Between the two biggest squares there are different low and long structures which are almost in concentric circles, and there is also a place for ball games.”

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The Maya had numerous city sites scattered across southern Mexico and Central America with the civilization reaching its peak during the first 1000 years AD until it collapsed between 800 and 1000.

But the Maya continue to exist and there are more than seven million still living in Central America.

The Maya didn’t have one central leader, such as an emperor in ancient Rome, and were not unified under a single state but instead the civilisation was made up of many small states which were structured around a specific city.

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