Researchers From National Geographic Say They May Have Found The Legendary ‘Lost City Of The White Monkey God,’ Deep In Remote Honduran Rain Forest/Jungle: Tribe Said To Worship Giant Simian Deity; Bred Chimp/Human Children And Amassed A Fortune In Gold
Douglas Preston and Dave Yoder, writing in the March 2, 2015 edition of National Geographic, say, an expedition to a remote location, deep in the Honduran rain forest, may have discovered the legendary and fabled, “City of the Monkey God,” something that has eluded explorers and researchers for 500 years. Researchers, explorers and archaeologists appear to have found untouched ruins of a vanished culture; “after being led to the remote, uninhabited region by long-standing rumors that it was the site of a storied “White City,” also referred to as the “City of the Monkey God.” “The civilization has never been given a name; but, the city has often been associated with the myth of El Dorado,” London’s The Daily Mirror wrote in it’s March 4, 2015 edition. “The mythical city, also known as the White City of Gold, was first referred to in 1526 in a letter from Hernando Cortez to King Charles V of Spain, when he wrote, that it will exceed Mexico in riches.”
Mr. Preston and Mr. Yoder report that “archaeologists surveyed and mapped extensive plazas, earthworks, and mounds, and an earthen pyramid belonging to a culture that thrived a thousand years ago, and then vanished. The team, which returned from the site last Wednesday, also discovered a remarkable cache of stone sculptures that had lain untouched since city was [mysteriously] abandoned.”
“In contrast to the nearby Maya,” National Geographic notes, “this vanished culture has scarcely studied; and, it remains virtually unknown, Archaeologists don’t even have a name for it,” Mr. Preston and Mr. Yoder wrote.
Christopher Fisher, a Mesoamerican archaeologist on the team from Colorado State University, said “the pristine, un-looted condition of the site was, “incredibly rare,” Dr. Fisher speculated that the cache, found at the base of the pyramid, may have been an offering. The undisturbed context is unique,” Fisher said. “This is a powerful ritual display, to take wealth objects like this out of circulation.”
“The tops of 52 artifacts were peeking from the earth. Many more, evidently lie below the ground, with possible burials. They include stone ceremonial seats (called metates), and finely carved vessels decorated with snakes, zoomorphic figures, and vultures.” “The most striking object emerging from the ground, is head of what Fisher speculated might be “a were-jaguar,” possibly depicting a shaman in a transformed, spirit state. Alternatively, the artifact might be related to ritualized ball games that were a feature of pre-Colombian life in Mesoamerica,” Mr. Preston and Mr. Yoder wrote. “The figure seems to be wearing a helmut,” Fisher Team member Oscar Neil Cruz, Head Archaeologist at the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History (IHAH), believes the artifacts date to A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1400.”
“The artifacts were documented; but, left unexcavated. To protect the site from looters, it’s location is not being revealed,” the magazine noted.
Stories Of “Casa Blanca” And A Monkey God
Mr. Preston and Mr. Yoder note that “the ruins were first identified in May 2012, during an aerial survey of a remote valley in La Mosquitia, a vast region of swamps, rivers, and mountains, containing some of the last scientifically unexplored places on earth.
“For a hundred years, explorers and prospectors told tales of the white ramparts of a lost city glimpsed above the jungle foliage. Indigenous stories speak of a “white house” or a “place of cacao” where Indians took refuge from Spanish conquistadores — a mystical Eden-like paradise from which no one ever returned.” “Since the 1920s, several expeditions had search for the White City, or Ciudad Blanca. The eccentric explorer Theodore Morde mounted the most famous of these in 1940, under the aegis of the Museum of American Indian (now part of the Smithsonian Institution),” the magazine noted. “Morde returned from Mosquitia with thousands of artifacts, claiming to have entered the City. According to Morde, the indigenous people there said it contained a giant, buried statute of a monkey god. He refused to divulge the location out of fear, he said, that the site would be looted. He later committed suicide and his site — if it ever existed at all — was never identified.”
“More recently, documentary filmmakers Steve Elkins and Bill Benenson launched a search for the lost city. They identified a crater-shaped valley, encircled by steep mountains, as a possible location. To survey it in 2012, they enlisted the help of the Center for Airborne Laser Mapping at the University of Houston. A Cessna Skymaster, carrying a million-dollar lidar scanner, flew over the valley probing the jungle canopy with laser light , lidar — “Light Detection and Ranging” — is able to map the ground even through dense rain forest, delineating any archaeological features that might be present,” Mr. Preston and Mr. Yoder wrote. “When the images were processed, they revealed the unnatural features stretching for more than a mile through the valley. When Fisher analyzed the images, he found that the terrain along the river had been almost entirely re-shaped by human hands.”
Threatened By Deforestation
“An archaeological discovery isn’t confirmed until it has been “ground-truthed.” “The ground exploration team consisted of American and Honduran archaeologists, a lidar engineer, an anthropologist, an ethnobotanist, documentary filmmakers, and support personnel. Sixteen Honduran Special Forces personnel provided security. The National Geographic Society sent a photographer and a writer,” according to the magazine.
“The expedition confirmed on the ground all the features seen in the lidar images, along with much more, It was indeed, an ancient city, Archaeologists however, no longer believe in the existence of a single “lost city,” or Ciudad Blanca, as described in the legends. They believe Mosquitia harbors many such “lost cities,” which taken together, represent something far more important — a lost civilization.”
Pretty fascinating stuff. V/R, RCP.