Student discovers lost Mayan city, but archaeologists insist it's not there. Isn't that the point of a lost city?
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The story of a teen who found a lost Maya city may not be so remarkable after all, as experts studying the claim find that it doesn't hold up under scrutiny. While the teen certainly had good intentions, his lost city may be nothing more than fallow fields.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - It's a fantastic story of a teenage boy from Canada who cracked a Mayan mystery and with a little help from NASA, makes the archeological discovery of the century.
Unfortunately, it's just a story because the city doesn't exist. Or does it?
Canadian teen, William Gadoury, 15, was studying the Maya when he learned their cities were ritually lined up with the stars. He then figured that two known cities in the Yucatan lined up with the stars predictably, but that there should be a third city to complete the alignment.
To find the third city, he asked NASA for satellite imagery and NASA obliged. Examining the images, Gadoury found evidence of a lost city in the exact spot the stars told him to look.
From there, his story became prime time news. It's been a trending topic since May 7 when the Journal de Montreal published his findings.
However, such attention invariably attracted the attention of archaeologists and other experts who have suggested the announcement of a lost city is quite premature.
The primary concern is that the area outlined as the city is very large, at least 80 square kilometers. Such a city would be major and would be virtually impossible to miss. Furthermore, the area is settled to some degree and fairly well traveled. So the likelihood of an entire city in the spot is almost nil. Finally, the satellite images reveal no direct evidence. Experts are not saying the images don't reveal jungle-covered pyramids, but rather fallow fields.
There's nothing to suggest Gadoury intended to deceive in announcing his discovery. He is merely an inquisitive lad of considerable talent. He probably did believe he discovered something. And he may yet have, as the Maya were prolific and established settlements everywhere throughout the region. Upon close examination, it is possible something could be discovered. But it's unlikely to be an entire city.
While the lost city may prove to be as mythical as the lost cities of gold, which enticed the Spanish explorers to venture deeper into the jungles of Mexico, we hope this experience encourages Gadoury to explore farther as well. The kid is only 15, and we're certain there are great things in the world still waiting to be discovered.
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