From the Bosnian Pyramids to the recently discovered relics of an underwater bridge connecting Sri Lanka to mainland India, mankind often leaves marks on the earth that endure for millennia, far beyond the scope of our memory to recall their purpose. In a new discovery, part of an ancient Maya civilization thought to be a long abandoned corn field might, in fact, be more modern illicit marijuana grows.
How the sites were found
In Saint-Jean-de-Matha in Lanaudière, a bright young teen named William Gadoury became obsessed with Mayan culture and archaeology after the Mayan calendar prediction of the end of the world in 2012.
He labored over maps of known Mayan cities, as well as constellation charts until he found a correlation that had slipped past scientists with decades devoted to the subject. The Mayan civilization had laid out their cities in alignment with constellations, the brightest stars correlating to the largest cities.
With the accurate geometry of 22 constellations matching the locations of 117 Mayan cities located in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, Gadoury began mapping and lining up the 23rd constellation chart. He discovered that two stars lined up with currently known cities, but one star did not.
With the help of transparent overlays and Google Earth, he found the point located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. He contacted space agencies to get highly accurate images, and the area turns out to be filled with 30 geometric shapes partially hidden under the jungle canopy.
Dr. Armand LaRocque, a remote sensing specialist from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton believes that if confirmed, the site would be among the largest Maya cities ever discovered.
“Geometric shapes, such as squares or rectangles, appeared in these images, forms that can hardly be attributed to natural phenomenon.” – LaRocque
Feet on the ground
The problem with verifying the find is that the location is right in the middle of one of the most remote and inaccessible regions of the Yucatan. After much controversy over the images, many have come to believe that they are not the building structures that Gadoury had hoped they were, but actually milpas, or ancient cornfields.
According to Geoffrey E. Braswell, an anthropologist at the University of California San Diego’s Mesoamerican Archaeology Laboratory, who has actually been in the area as part of a German-Mexican archaeological project nearby:
“They’re not Maya pyramids. They’re either abandoned cornfields, or active marijuana fields.”
Braswell says it’s the Laguna El Civalón in southeast Campeche, Mexico (located at 17o 56’ 42” N by 90o 10’ 0” N).
“I personally recognized it just by looking at the image, and then by confirming it on Google Earth.”
The effects of time
Over decades, and even centuries, only the most dramatic of Man’s shaping of the earth remains visible to the naked eye. With an agricultural field in the middle of a jungle, that evidence is unlikely to remain. A vigorous canopy should be well rooted in the soil of the fields that are conspicuously barren of large trees in the images. The region is also well known for illicit marijuana fields, and the evidence lends credence to the theory that that is, in fact, the case here.
Gadoury has still managed to make an incredible archaeological discovery in the alignment of the star charts with the layout of the civilization, but, imagine if you will the scene were scientists to actually seek to verify the composition of all the shapes in the area, not just the ones that Braswell purports to have passed by.
Scientist #1: “Here it is! Shape 17 on the sattelite images. Look! The relics of stone farming equipment!”
Scientist #2: “Um, boss?”
Scientist #1: “Why, this is fantistic! There is even an ancient stone water storage for collecting rain water to irrigate the crops, and it was built so well it still holds water!”
Scientist #2: “Boss!”
Scientist #1: “What is it Carl? Can’t you see I am busy discovering things?”
Scientist #2: “That’s the problem, Boss. I think those guys with guns over their have found us!”
Scientist #1: “Come to think of it, this doesn’t look like corn, does it? RUN!”
Can you imagine being busted by archaeologists thinking your crop was an ancient city? Or the tip leading to your arrest coming from a teenager half a world away? Not very good for the criminal image, is it?
Do you think that relics of the Mayan civilization are located at the controversial site? Is it possible that guerilla growers would use the location because of the amenities the civilization left behind? Share your thoughts on social media or in the comments below.