The site of the “White City” has never been confirmed.
National Geographic, which sent a reporter and photographer along for the expedition, reports that the team did indeed find an ancient and untouched city. The archaeologists surveyed “extensive plazas, earthworks, mounds and an earthen pyramid” as well as “a remarkable cache” of more than 50 stone sculptures.
Christopher Fisher, an archaeologist on the team, told the magazine that the unspoiled condition of the site was “incredibly rare.”
The site is estimated to date back to 1,000 to 1,400 A.D.
This culture likely thrived a millennia ago, and then disappeared, the archaeologists say.
It's a culture that's almost unknown. It does not even have a name.
Fisher told The Huffington Post in an email this week that the discovery of the lost city has enormous implications for the understanding of the region and its history.
"The documentation of the site and associated features is very significant for Honduras and broader pre-Columbian societies in Latin America," he said.
Fisher added that much more research needs to be conducted to find out more about this lost civilization. He said the team hopes to soon "begin a long-term program of archaeological and ecological research" in the Mosquitia area.
As for what might have caused this civilization to disappear, Fisher offered one possible explanation: European-introduced disease.
“Old World disease decimated native populations in the Americas starting with the fall of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan,” Fisher told HuffPost. “These same diseases then raced person to person throughout the Americas with an incredible mortality rate. Like every other ancient culture in the Americas the impact of these events would have had devastating consequences for the ancient peoples of the Mosquitia.”
Fisher stressed, however, that there could be many other explanations for the culture’s demise. Societal collapse, environmental triggers or conflict, for instance, may have played a role.
source: huffingtonpost.com By Dominique Mosbergen