Another 'Lost City' Found, This One in Mexico

Chactun ruins include 15 pyramids, ball courts, altars
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2013 9:15 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2013 6:31 AM CDT
Another 'Lost City' Found, This One in Mexico
A worker shows the remains of a building in the newly found Mayan city of Chactun.   (National Institute of Anthropology and History (NIAH))

Just a week after news broke of a "lost city" discovered in Cambodia, archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Mayan city among the dense foliage of the Mexican jungle. The team has dubbed it Chactun (meaning red or large rock), and says it's one of the largest to be found in the Yucatan's central lowlands. The numbers behind that claim: The 54-acre site would have once housed as many as 40,000 people, and evidence of 15 pyramids—one 75 feet tall—has been identified there. But the ruins don't end with those structures, LiveScience reports.

The remains of plazas, homes, altars, inscribed stone slabs, and ball courts were found; the ball courts in particular indicate it was a prominent city, though one that met its end around 1000 AD, the team leader tells Reuters. The search team first stumbled upon Chactun by way of aerial photographs taken 15 years ago; hacking their way through 10 miles of jungle took three weeks. The archaeologists spent six weeks exploring its secrets, and hope the find will offer clues on relationships between Maya cities—the closest known was 16 miles away. (More archaeology stories.)

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