A 15-year-old boy believes he has discovered a forgotten Mayan city using satellite photos and Mayan astronomy.
William Gadoury, from Quebec, came up with the theory that the Maya civilization chose the location of its towns and cities according to its star constellations. He found Mayan cities lined up exactly with stars in the civilization’s major constellations.
Studying the star map further, he discovered one city was missing from a constellation of three stars. Using satellite images provided by the Canadian Space Agency and then mapped on to Google Earth, he discovered the city where the third star of the constellation suggested it would be.
Satellite images compared with Google Earth show potentially man-made structures beneath the jungle canopy (Canadian Space Agency)
William has named the yet-to-be explored city in the Yucatan jungle K’aak Chi, or Mouth of Fire.
Daniel De Lisle, from the Canadian Space Agency, said the area had been difficult to study because of its dense vegetation. However, satellite scans of the area found linear features which “stuck out”.
“There are linear features that would suggest there is something underneath that big canopy,” he told The Independent. “There are enough items to suggest it could be a man made structure.”
Doctor Armand La Rocque, from the University of New Brunswick, said one image showed a street network and a large square which could possibly be a pyramid.
He told The Independent: “A square is not natural, it is mostly artificial and can hardly be attributed to natural phenomena. “If we add these together, we have a lot of indication there might be a Mayan city in the area.”
Dr La Rocque said William’s discovery could lead archaeologists to find other Mayan cities using similar techniques.
William’s discovery will be published in a scientific journal and he will present his findings at Brazil’s International Science fair in 2017.