At a glance, the photo you see above probably just looks like a bunch of jungle, typical in Central America. But if you look deeper, you find the signs that an ancient Mesoamerican civilization once lived out their lives at this site.
500 years ago, the residents of this ancient city vanished. They buried their most sacred items in the middle of their town and then abandoned it. The reasoning behind this has puzzled researchers.
“There’s a big question about who these people were,” said Douglas Preston, who visited the remnants of this city, in an interview with Business Insider. “What happened to this civilization? Why did they abandon this city so suddenly?”
Two years ago, Preston joined a research team that investigated these ruins. His team thinks that this city is a remnant of a now lost civilization.
There exist legends that a legendary town, called “White City,” once existed in this area. It was a town of lavish wealth, and it vanished 600 years ago. Preston and his team think that these ruins may be what remains of that legendary city.
Arcaheologists have discovered a diverse range of sites in the town, from plazas to pyramids. But not much else is known about the city itself and the people who lived there.
“In the words of the leading Honduran archaeologist on our expedition, ‘What we know about this culture is nothing,'” said Preston.
But not everyone is convinced that this find is White City, or that it was even lost in the first place. When news of the find broke, a group of researchers signed a letter of condemnation, claiming that the ruins were not the legendary lost city, nor were they lost at all.
They claim that National Geographic, who originally broke the story, mislead the public by exaggerating the discovery, and that by claiming it was lost disregarded the region’s native people.