Explorers in Honduras reportedly stumbled upon evidence of what they believe to be a lost Mayan city, once known as the White City of the Monkey God.
Archaeologists, according to National Geographic, “surveyed and mapped extensive plazas, earthworks, mounds, and an earthen pyramid belonging to a culture that thrived a thousand years ago, and then vanished,” and discovered a cache of stone sculptures that had reportedly been untouched since the abandonment of the city. Experts have very little knowledge of the city and its culture, as it has been “scarcely” studied over the years.
“The undisturbed context is unique,” archaeologist Christopher Fisher said of the untouched cache found where the city once was. “This is a powerful ritual display, to take wealth objects like this out of circulation.”
Adventurers have long believed that the city got its name because the civilization that lived there worshipped monkey gods. Explorer Theodore Morde even wrote of encounters with local tribes that he believed lived in the city and worshipped such gods.
“One day three of the hairy men who looked like great apes walked into an Indian village and carried off three of its most beautiful and pleasing maidens," Morde wrote, according to The Inquisitr. "They took the girls back into the caves high in the mountains to live with them and bear their children. From this union came, however, not human nor partly human children but the small Urus or monkeys.”
Morde described the city as being “shrouded by towering mountains” and a “rushing cataract, beautiful as a robe of shimmering jewels, cascaded into the green valley of the ruins.”
However, Morde never revealed the exact location of the city before his death in 1954.
Experts are allegedly concerned about threats facing the newly discovered ruins, including deforestation and looting. Deforestation, according to reports, is the more pressing concern.
“If we don’t do something right away, most of this forest and valley will be gone in eight years,” Honduran Institute for Anthropology and History director Virgilio Paredes Trapero said. “The Honduran government is committed to protecting this area, but doesn’t have the money. We urgently need international support.”