Teen uses satellite imagery to discover possible ancient Mayan ruins

Teen uses satellite imagery to discover possible ancient Mayan ruins
Credit: Canadian Space Agency, via TheTelegraph

(Phys.org)—William Gadoury, a 15 year old Mayan history enthusiast who lives in Saint-Jean-de-Matha in Lanaudière, Quebec, has, according to Le Journal de Montréal, used satellite imagery to make associations between ancient Mayan city locations and constellations, and in so doing, may have actually discovered a site that has not been previously known.

According to the news report, Gadoury, who claims to have been long interested in the Mayan culture, gained access to —after applying the Geographic Information System he found a correlation between 22 constellations and 117 Mayan cities. But, in so doing, he noticed that there appeared to be something missing, a 23rd constellation suggested there should have been another that did not appear in the database of Mayan cities, which suggested that there might be one in the location depicted in the constellation. Going back to satellite imagery, it appeared that the location indicated by the 23rd constellation did indeed seem to be a possible of a previously unknown Mayan city. Gadoury has already named it: K'àak' Chi' for "fire mouth."

More work will have to be done, of course, perhaps by Gadoury and others in the field, first, to ascertain if the correlations found between constellations and Mayan cities is correct—it is possible that there is some coincidence involved, after all there are many more city sites that do not appear in any of the constellations. There is also the troubling proposition that the Mayans were somehow able to map their cities, accurately portraying distances, which would have been extraordinarily difficult in jungle terrain. Also, it is also possible that the site that has potentially been discovered has actually been seen before, it sits close enough to a populated area that it would be hard to imagine that it has not been spotted—and has simply not yet made its way into the database Gadoury used in his study.

Unfortunately, there are no plans to mount an expedition to the site found on the maps, financial constraints are hampering any such excursion. But, Armand LaRocque an archeologist with the University of New Brunswick has suggested that if ever a team is assembled, they plan to include Gadoury as part of their venture.


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Citation: Teen uses satellite imagery to discover possible ancient Mayan ruins (2016, May 11) retrieved 29 October 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-teen-satellite-imagery-ancient-mayan.html
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