A Canadian schoolboy appears to have discovered a lost Mayan city hidden deep in the jungles of Mexico using a new method of matching stars to the location of temples on earth.
William Gadoury, 15, was fascinated by the ancient Central American civilization and spent hours poring over diagrams of constellations and maps of known Mayan cities.
And then he made a startling realisation: the two appeared to be linked.
“I was really surprised and excited when I realised that the most brilliant stars of the constellations matched the largest Maya cities,” he told the Journal de Montréal.
In hundreds of years of scholarship, no other scientist had ever found such a correlation.
Studying 22 different constellations, William found that they matched the location of 117 Mayan cities scattered throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
When he applied his theory to a 23rd constellation, he found that two of the stars already had cities linked to them but that the third star was unmatched.
William took to Google Maps and projected that there must be another city hidden deep in the thick jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
The Canadian Space Agency agreed to train its satellite telescopes on the spot and returned with striking pictures: what appears to be an ancient Mayan pyramid and dozens of smaller structures around it.
If the satellite photographs are verified, the city would be among the largest Mayan population centers ever discovered.
It fell to William to christen the new city and he chose the name K’aak Chi, meaning Fire Mouth, and the teenager said he hoped to one day see the ruins with his own eyes.
“It would be the culmination of my three years of work and the dream of my life,” he said. He became interested in the Mayans after reading about their predictions that the world would end in 2012.
Reaching the city will not be easy. It is in one of the most remote and inaccessible areas of Mexico and an archaeological mission would be costly.
“It’s always about money. Expedition costs are horribly expensive,” said Dr. Armand LaRocque, a specialist at the University of New Brunswick.
Scientists said they were astonished by the discovery and that it had been made by someone so young.
“What is fascinating about the project of William, is the depth of his research,” said Daniel de Lisle.
“Linking the position of stars and the location of a lost city and the use of satellite images on a tiny territory to identify the remains buried under dense vegetation, is quite exceptional.”
Source: The Telegraph