An archeological team co-coordinated by film-makers Bill Benenson and Steve Elkins, Honduras and National Geographic, have found two lost cities located in the jungle of Honduras that have been untouched by humans for over 600 years. Evidence of pyramids, plazas, and artifacts have emerged.
Chris Fisher, the lead US archaeologist on the team, tells the Guardian, “Even the animals acted as if they’ve never seen people… Spider monkeys are all over [the] place, and they’d follow us around and throw food at us and hoot and holler and do their thing… To be treated not as a predator but as another primate in their space was for me the most amazing thing about this whole trip.”
The team found the location through surveying technology. The Guardian explains:
In the rainforest valley, they said they found stone structural foundations of two cities that mirrored people’s thinking of the Maya region, though these were not Mayan people. The area dates between 1000AD and 1400AD, and while very little is known without excavation of the site and surrounding region, Fisher said it was likely that European diseases had at least in part contributed to the culture’s disappearance.
The expedition also found and documented 52 artifacts that Virgilio Paredes, head of Honduras’s national anthropology and history institute, said indicated a [civilization] distinct from the Mayans. Those artifacts included a bowl with an intricate carvings and semi-buried stone sculptures, including several that merged human and animal characteristics.
The cache of artifacts – “very beautiful, very fantastic,” in Fisher’s words – may have been a burial offering, he said, noting the effigies of spirit animals such as vultures and serpents.
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