Forgotten Mayan City With ‘Massive Palace’ Found In Guatemala
GUATEMALA CITY – An entire city, including a massive Mayan palace, has been rediscovered beneath dense jungle in northern Guatemala. The forgotten site was originally found and dismissed as worthless almost a century ago because explorers didn’t come across any artefacts. Even looters left it alone because they assumed there were no treasurers underneath. But on Friday, the National Geographic Society said the lost city of Cancuen boasts one of the most grandiose Mayan structures ever unearthed a 25,000 square-metre palace, with three 20-metre high levels. Archaeologists predict it will take at least 10 years to dig out the entire 13-kilometre square community of stone buildings. Cancuen, a Mayan word for “Place of the Serpent” was a key trading post in Central America 1,200 years ago. Since it was built for commercial and not religious reasons, the city does not have spectacular temples like those found in Tikal and other Mayan sites. But that fact may have saved it from being plundered by looters when it was first discovered by modern explorers under thick mud and foliage in 1905.