They may have lived some 1,700 years ago, but the ancient Maya had an incredible knowledge of celestial bodies, which they believed influenced everything from harvest to death.
Now a 15-year-old boy has studied astronomical charts devised by these ancient Mexican people, as well as satellite photos, to pinpoint the location of a forgotten Mayan city.
William Gadoury, from Quebec has named the ’lost city’ in the Yucatan jungle K’aak Chi, or Mouth of Fire.
Satellite images suggest the lost city could be among the largest built by the ancient civilisation, which thrived between 300 and 700 AD.
Wondering why the ancient people built their cities far away from rivers and in inhospitable mountains prompted the teenager to look to the sky for answers, because the Mayans worshiped the stars“
Incredibly, the brightest of the stars match up with the largest cities.
‘I was really surprised and excited when I realised that the most brilliant stars of the constellations matched the largest Maya cities.’ He told The Journal of Montreal.
He is said to be the first to make the connection, which could lead to further finds.
It was in the 23rd constellation, containing three stars, that he found two matching cities on the map, suggesting one has not yet been re-discovered.
To investigate further, he used satellite images from the Canadian Space Agency and Google Earth to search the dense jungle for any signs of buildings.
The photographs revealed linear features that ‘stuck out,’ Daniel De Lisle, from the Canadian Space Agency told The Independent.
加拿大太空局的Daniel De Lisle告诉独立报，照片显示出“醒目的“线性特征。
‘There are linear features that would suggest there is something underneath that big canopy,’ he said.
Armand La Rocque, from the University of New Brunswick believes one of the images shows network of streets leading to a large square, which may be a pyramid.
‘A square is not natural, it is mostly artificial and can hardly be attributed to natural phenomena,’ he said.
It’s possible 30 buildings accompany an impressive pyramid at the site.
If true, the lost city would be one of the five largest known to archaeologists, built by the Mayans.
Linking the position of stars and the location of a lost city and the use of satellite images on a tiny territory to identify the remains buried under dense vegetation, is quite exceptional.’
Dr la Rocque thinks William Gadoury’s technique could lead archaeologists to pinpointing the location of more possible lost Mayan metropolises.
Dr la Rocque认为，考古学家或许能借鉴William的这种技术，发掘出更多的玛雅失落古城。
The teenager would like to see the Mayan’s Mouth of Fire for himself and as yet, no-one has ventured into the jungle to confirm his ‘find’.
Gadoury’s discovery will be presented at Brazil’s International Science fair in 2017 and published in a journal.