Belize is truly blessed with a large concentration of ancient Maya archaeological sites scattered across the country. Many of these sites are not even excavated and others, not even discovered. In fact, there are many undiscovered Maya temples across the Mundo Maya (Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico). With approximately 45% of the land being covered in dense vegetation finding a lost temple is similar to finding a needle in a hay stack.
Of course, if you are a star pupil with a passion for astrology – why wouldn’t you be able to find a Maya temple from the comfort of your home?
15-year William Gadoury from Quebec, Canada, has made an astounding discovery after making a connection between the Maya’s astronomical charts and the possible location of their cities. His studies into the Maya’s ancient astrological beliefs coupled with the help of satellite photos and Google Earth, lead William to discover a long forgotten city in the Yucatan jungle. Totally mind blowing – the Yucatan jungle is just a skip and hop away from Belize after all!
Wondering how a 15-year-old could make such a discovery? Well, it all started with his curious mind. William wondered why the ancient Mayas built cities far away from rivers, that’s what lead him to believe that they were not chasing water but the stars! He came up with a theory that the Maya built their cities so that they lined up with star constellations and after putting his theory to the test, he realized it was indeed true.
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. William came up with a theory the Maya built their cities so they lined up with star constellations.
The teenager analysed 23 Mayan constellations to realise if he connected them, the 142 stars corresponded to the position of 177 Mayan cities. “I was really surprised and excited when I realised that the most brilliant stars of the constellations matched the largest Maya cities,” said William.
William’s discovery with be presented at Brazil’s International Science fair in 2017 and published in a journal. Now that’s what I call a life accomplishment!
However, archaeologists are still debating whether the area shown on the satellite image is a Maya city – it could possibly be an abandoned field. Whatever it ends up being, William definitely deserves a round of applause for his dedication.
Goes to show just how amazing the ancient Maya really were. I’m glad I call home a country so rich in their history. Belize has hundreds of archaeological site, but only 28 are accessible to the public with the most popular being Cerro Maya, Santa Rita, Lamanai, Altun Ha, El Pilar, Cahal Pech, Zunantunich, Barton Creek, Caracol, Serpon Sugar Mill, Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun. May be we need to have William visit Belize and uncover some of our ‘lost cities’!