One of the most exciting things about Maya archaeology is that there are still thousands of sites waiting to be discovered in the Central American jungle – and who knows what secret stories and wonderful works of art are hidden within their walls?
This summer a team of archaeologists discovered two of these lost cities in the Calakmul Biosphere. The biosphere is roughly 2800 square miles of thick jungle in Southern Mexico along the border of Guatemala and Belize. It gets its name from the massive Maya city of Calakmul which was one of the superpowers of the ancient Maya world.
The newly rediscovered cities – named Tamchen and Lagunita by the archaeologists – would have been under the influence of the city of Calakmul. Tamchen has been overgrown and lost since the Maya abandoned it a thousand years ago; Lagunita was discovered by archaeologists in the 1970s, but then its locations was lost again until now. Both cities have an impressive collection of palaces, pyramids, temples, plazas, carved monuments and ballcourts. (One of the pyramids is as tall as a 6 story building!) Another temple is entered through a large monster mouth – much like the pyramid where Max first met Lola in Middleworld.
Even more excitingly, an aerial survey indicates that there may be dozens more cities yet to be discovered in this area.