Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/16/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

City was believed to exist only in legend.

Scientists have discovered what they believe could be Ciudad Blanca, a fabled lost city hidden deep within the jungles of Honduras. Using airborne lasers to scan the ground beneath the dense jungle canopy, scientists have found what appears to be an entire city filled with temple mounds, canals, and terraced hillsides, entirely lost to history - until now.

Ancient cities are renown for their tourism value in modern times.

Ancient cities are renown for their tourism value in modern times.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/16/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Ciudad Blanca, city, lost, ruins, Indiana Jones


TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS (Catholic Online) - Scientists skimming the treetops above the Honduran jungle in a laser-equipped aircraft have found what they say could be the remains of a legendary lost city.

Using a laser system known as "lidar" scientists were able to peer beneath the jungle canopy and create a map of the ground below. By flying back and forth over an ever-widening swath of jungle, the map grew and eventually the outline of what was once an ancient city began to appear.

Scientists say they have spotted temple mounds, canals, avenues, and terraced hillsides where crops once grew.

The city is unknown to modern times, but the conquistadores knew of it, even if they could not locate it. Hernan Cortez wrote of it to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, referring to it as "La Ciudad Blanca" meaning "The White City."

Pre-Columbian structures were commonly coated with limestone plaster, which turned them gleaming white, providing a bright contrast with the emerald-green jungles from which they emerged. To European observers, accustomed to seeing gray stone and wooden structures back home, the cities appeared to glitter inspiring legends about their wealth.

That wealth wasn't mythical either. Pre-Columbian monarchs and nobles amassed great treasures of gold, silver, jade, and turquoise. Plundering conquistadores eventually carted off most of that wealth to Europe where it was used to finance the wars of the Holy Roman Empire and other nations. Most of the gold and silver artifacts from these civilizations were destroyed, leaving behind as treasure only the legacy of the people, namely their art and architecture.

The people themselves were swiftly wiped out by disease and enslavement, or disappeared into the jungle in a bid to escape subjugation.

The swift disappearance of entire populations led to legends of abandoned cities with their treasures intact. La Ciudad Blanca was one such legendary city. Over the centuries, as more of the jungle was explored, scientists eventually concluded that most of the major populations centers had been rediscovered, and those that went undiscovered were likely the stuff of myth, produced by the wishful thinking of greedy European explorers - academic hubris.

Today, scientists know better as they are periodically surprised.  Scientists are using new tools to explore the jungle and are finding a great number of unknown sites. No longer do archaeologists traipse the jungle Indiana Jones style, hoping to stumble upon something amazing. Now, satellite data, aerial surveys, and occasionally the guidance of local people, brings archaeologists to something that has long passed into legend and folklore.

In La Ciudad Blanca, archaeologists do not expect to find tons of gold and silver simply lying about, despite the most fervent claims of the conquistadores. Instead, they hope as they excavate the site they will find more valuable treasure in the form of art and information about the ancient people who once inhabited the city.

For researchers, time is of the essence. Although they may be unaware of the sites, locals are often familiar with them and will loot the sites of any treasures they can find. In so doing they destroy ancient structures and plunder artifacts. This destroys the cultural legacy of the native people so researchers want to move quickly to study the site before treasure hunters and looters make fresh inroads.

For now, scientists are keeping mum about precisely where the city is located, only saying that it is hidden somewhere in the jungles of the Honduras. Scientists have released only a close-up detail of their maps which show the promise of structures long-hidden beneath the jungle canopy. They will not show the media any images of the surrounding area to prevent attracting looters to the city.

Soon, the intrepid archaeologists will find their leather jackets and whips, as they set off to explore the ruins firsthand. Until then, we must wait and wonder with fascination at what they will find when they get there.

The site is so large, it will likely take decades to excavate.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Americas

Teenage girl brutally gang-raped and blinded during terrifying pastor-led exorcism in Argentina Watch

Image of A teenager was gang-raped and had her eyed gouged in a horrific exorcism ritual.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 16-year-old girl, who began seeing visions of a goat and thought that her family was demonic, suffered from a horrific exorcism ritual led by a Pastor in Argentina. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The teenager was brutally raped and had her eyes ... continue reading


'SLIME OF THE DEVIL:' Argentinean villages engulfed with spider webs Watch

Image of Local residents say that the phenomenon has never really been this bad. The last time there had been something similar had been in the 1980s, when there was an invasion of other insects, but at a different time of year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Argentinean town has been inundated by spiders, which have spun prestigious webs. The webs have covered many areas, including bodies of water. The locals here call the webs "baba del diablo," or the "slime of the devil." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Gay 'rights' are 'false rights,' Mexican cardinal asserts to transsexual advocate Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Diana Sanchez, a well-known transsexual and political figure in Mexico City's leftist party PRD, wrote a letter to Mexico's Primate, Cardinal Norberto Rivera insisting he and other cardinals "obey" the Pope in "abstaining from discriminating and judging homosexuals." ... continue reading


Here's your chance to join Pope Francis on a pilgrimage to Philadelphia

Image of Join the World Meeting of Families Virtual Pilgrimage. Grow with us in faith and receive prayers as we approach this historic event together.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Do you wish you could join Pope Francis in Philadelphia? Every available berth may be taken, but there is good news, you can still join him on a pilgrimage of your own! Pope Francis will be in Philadelphia on September 26-27 for the World Meeting of Families. An ... continue reading


Chilean women reject abortion as solution to sexual violence Watch

Image of Chilean women decry violations from sexual violence to workplace discrimination in a new video. However, they also reject abortion as a solution to these problems.

By CNA/EWTN News

Women in a new video released in Chile said that mothers facing difficult pregnancies need compassion and care from society, not abortion. Santiago, Chile (CNA) - "I became pregnant after I was sexually assaulted by a stranger, and it was a traumatic experience," ... continue reading


Women, children freed from slavery in Peruvian coca operation Watch

Image of Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group. BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - "Many of these ... continue reading


U.S. and Cuba reopen embassies in groundbreaking move to normalize relations Watch

Image of Official relations between the two countries were severed back in 1961, a diplomatic gulf widened by an embargo on travel and trade.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

The U.S. and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic ties for the first time since 1961 on Monday; a groundbreaking development advocated by Catholic bishops from both countries and set in motion by Pope Francis. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's an ... continue reading


CORRUPTION RAMPANT: Few surprised with prison escape of Mexico's 'El Chapo' Watch

Image of Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from maximum-security prison last week. Mexico is notorious for having one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


How did he do it? Surveillance video released with inside look at El Chapo's elaborate escape plan Watch

Image of Joaquin

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the second time in 14 years, the most powerful drug trafficker in Mexico and FBI's Public Enemy No. 1 has escaped prison using a tunnel. After Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was confirmed to have escaped from the country's most secured prison, the largest manhunt in ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis chew coca leaves during his visit in Bolivia? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' recent visit in South America, there were claims he requested to chew some coca leaves to help him cope with the high altitude. Bolivian authorities stated earlier that the Pope made the request during his stay in La Paz, but the Pontiff clarified ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2015 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter