Scientists end mystery of Maya city

September 28, 2005

A decades-long mystery surrounding the rumored existence of a Maya city has reportedly ended with the discovery of the city in the jungles of Guatemala.

The city is the rumored home of ancient monuments that once flooded the art market, the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday.

Archaeologists from Southern Methodist University and Yale University have confirmed discovering the city. The find, based on discovery of a limestone panel with more than 140 hieroglyphs, ends what one archaeologist called "one of the longest and wildest hunts for a Maya city in the history of the discipline."

It is also expected to help unlock secrets about the New World's only literate ancient civilization, the newspaper said.

Yale archaeologist Marcello Canuto found the panel in the northwest region of Guatemala, establishing an area called La Corona as the site of the ancient city.

"We had never expected to find something like that," SMU archeology graduate student Stanley Guenter told the Morning News. "A find like this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal."

The researchers plan to return to the site next spring for another expedition, with full excavation of the site possibly beginning during 2007.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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