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About That Canadian Teenager Finding A Lost Mayan City

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posted on May, 11 2016 @ 06:52 PM
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It's a great story. A fifteen year-old is pondering the placement of Mayan cities and has an idea — maybe they're mirroring the stars in the constellations overhead! He commences his sleuthing, using Google Earth and transparent overlays, he starts matching up cities to stars and then comes the moment of genius, he starts mapping a 23rd constellation (hell, it's even got the number 23) and lo and behold, it's all matching up except that there's no known Mayan ruins corresponding to one of the stars. Turning to the Canadian Space Agency, he's provided with images from NASA and JAXA satellites. He sets out to test his hypothesis with the assistance of a remote sensing specialist.

Eureka!

There it is, right where he predicted, obscured by vegetation are right angles indicative of his hypothesized lost Mayan city! He's connected the dots that thousands of researchers have missed and he's done the implausible — a teenager has discovered a lost Mayan city from the comfort of his own home, thousands of miles a way. Fast forward shortly and he's giving interviews, winning medals of merit, his discovery is set to be published in some journal or another, etc. The teen has even given this city a tentative name, K’aak Ch, meaning "mouth of fire."

I mean, that's a great story. I would totally watch that movie. It could only get better if archaeologists visited the site and found an ancient library and a cache of crystal skulls!

Some news sources have gone so far as to report that analysis of satellite images reveals the presence of a pyramid and 30 structures. It's no wonder that a thread about this has garnered nearly 150 flags so far!

Alas, as the story went viral, experts have been weighing in and they're far less impressed. Also, we now have the benefit of some images and...well...

Gizmodo - Experts Doubt That a Teen Found a Lost Maya City




In this particular instance, Garrison says the rectangular nature of the feature and the secondary vegetation growing back within it are “clear signs” of a relic milpa. A milpa is a crop-growing system used throughout Mesoamerica, primarily in the Yucatan peninsula area of Mexico (which is exactly where this supposed lost Maya city is located). The word milpa is taken from the Nahuatl term for “maize field.”

“I’d guess it’s been fallow for 10-15 years,” Garrison told Gizmodo. “This is obvious to anyone that has spent any time at all in the Maya lowlands. I hope that this young scholar will consider his pursuits at the university level so that his next discovery—and there are plenty to be made—will be a meaningful one.”


Other experts were assholes about it:


David Stuart, an anthropologist from the Mesoamerica Center-University of Texas at Austin agrees, but his words were less kind. At his Facebook page he referred to Gadoury’s work as “junk science.” “Seeing such patterns is a rorschach process, since sites are everywhere, and so are the stars,” he wrote. “The square feature that was found on Google Earth is indeed man-made, but it’s an old fallow cornfield, or milpa.”


this one raised an issue I had with the story when I first read it:


Ivan Šprajc, a researcher from the Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies in Slovenia, also said the idea that the Maya correlated their settlements with stars is “utterly” unlikely. “We do know that the Maya were very good astronomers and that they were interested in certain stars and asterisms,” he explained to Gizmodo. “But how could constellations reveal the location of Maya sites remains a mystery to me. Very few Maya constellations have been identified, and even in these cases we do not know how many and which stars exactly composed each constellation.
[...]
Lastly, Šprajc pointed out that the coordinates of the Maya city, which Gadoury claims is in northern Guatemala, is actually located in southern Campeche, Mexico. He also believes, like Garrison and Stuart, that the features shown in the satellite photos is an old milpa, abandoned years ago “but definitely not centuries ago.”


I don't want to be that guy. I'd much rather entertain and inform with an uplifting tale of the independent researcher making a remarkable discovery (and have a thread that gets 150 freakin' stars lol) but it's not looking good for this "discovery" at all.
edit on 2016-5-11 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



+6 more 
posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Thought it was a cool story to share, nothing more. I'm new, so I didn't expect this. It looked, at the time , legit.

Sorry if I have pissed some people off because of it.

But the jury is still out on this. Gave you a star and a flag, if that makes you feel better. Still don't understand that system. Seems kind of silly to me.





Here, have a beer on me.


edit on 11-5-2016 by Onesmartdog because: Just added stuff



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:31 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

It's alright being that guy - I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to reveal the truth about this er, non-discovery - as I saw some click-bait headline earlier today proclaiming this feat. Good luck to the young researcher in his future pursuits; he may be temporarily embarrassed/ridiculed/etc., but this experience should serve him well in the future.


+4 more 
posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: Onesmartdog

Dude....there is no reason to be "sorry". You posted something you found interesting and it turned out not to be what you initially thought it was. I'd venture to say we have all done that at one time or another. If someone claims they have not, they are either lying or they don't post much outside the prescribed "norm". It's not a big deal.

We are all better educated because of this follow up. I am sure theantediluvian is not taking a personal jab at you. I'm also sure no one is "pissed" because you posted something that wasn't what you initially thought it to be. If they are pissed, they are the one(s) with the problem, not you.
Take it easy on yourself, man.

Apologies like that will make you seem "weak" to our more brutal members (none of them in this thread at this point, yet) and they will absolutely eat you for lunch around here. (just a word of friendly advice)

...now, since you paid for the first round, this one's on me.


Sh*t...make it a double, seems you might need it




posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:38 PM
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I didn't comment in that other thread for the same reason you didn't OP, no one wants to be "that guy..." When the story broke the romantic notion of a kid finding a lost city based on the stars took over. It's only after the fervor died down that reality is beginning to emerge.

The kid (Gadoury) didn't push this as a 'discovery,' that was the media sensationalizing it. Gadoury should be congratulated for his efforts, and the scientific community should embrace him for that and the reasons for why his discovery turned out to be otherwise given to him, along with methods of how future research can be conducted.

The reality is the ancient Mesoamericans had mundane reasons for placing their cities where they did, like access to water, arable farmland, defensive positions, etc., rather than fantasy star alignments.



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:41 PM
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a reply to: Onesmartdog

If people were pissed at you because you posted in the wrong forum, that's something you'll learn over time, I can understand, but there's absolutely no reason for someone to be pissed at the messenger/OP. It was a cool story and deserved attention, but the great thing about ATS is there are some very sharp minds that will separate the wheat from the chaff, quickly. This thread/OP is a great example of the vetting process. Don't take any offense. We welcome more of your contributions.

Cheers!



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:42 PM
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originally posted by: Jakal26
a reply to: Onesmartdog

Dude....there is no reason to be "sorry". You posted something you found interesting and it turned out not to be what you initially thought it was. I'd venture to say we have all done that at one time or another. If someone claims they have not, they are either lying or they don't post much outside the prescribed "norm". It's not a big deal.

We are all better educated because of this follow up. I am sure theantediluvian is not taking a personal jab at you. I'm also sure no one is "pissed" because you posted something that wasn't what you initially thought it to be. If they are pissed, they are the one(s) with the problem, not you.
Take it easy on yourself, man.

Apologies like that will make you seem "weak" to our more brutal members (none of them in this thread at this point, yet) and they will absolutely eat you for lunch around here. (just a word of friendly advice)

...now, since you paid for the first round, this one's on me.


Sh*t...make it a double, seems you might need it



Maybe 12 and a snack . Nah, I'm ok. I have developed a thick skin over the years. I love it that you guys investegate so thoroughly !



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:42 PM
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Lets get this thread to say....151 stars.

Stupid teenager



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:45 PM
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Hi theantideluvian,
This story really took off, and I think some of the back lash is due to all of the "lost cities" that have turned up in the last couple of years. I have recently read about one of the latest list cities that was splashed all over the media, turns out itcwssnt list at all, the locals knew it was there, it was even excavated in the early 20 th century.
As much as I want there to be a new lost city, and it would he cool if there was some grand scheme to layout cities within specific patterns over large regions, but I feel that is not the case.
Like has been mentioned the Mayan lands were extremely heavily populated , with villiages only a couple miles apart, intermediate towns several miles apart and major cities a few tens of miles apart.
So, I could see how you could overlay a star map and have it correspond to some degree.
But that being said, the Mayans layed out the location of major ceremonial centers , with respect to a knowledge of the circumference of the earth.



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 07:51 PM
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originally posted by: Onesmartdog
a reply to: theantediluvian

Thought it was a cool story to share, nothing more. I'm new, so I didn't expect this. It looked, at the time , legit.

Sorry if I have pissed some people off because of it.

But the jury is still out on this. Gave you a star and a flag, if that makes you feel better. Still don't understand that system. Seems kind of silly to me.





Here, have a beer on me.



Definitely no need to be sorry about anything. I'd have posted a thread about it myself!



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 08:04 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer




The kid (Gadoury) didn't push this as a 'discovery,' that was the media sensationalizing it. Gadoury should be congratulated for his efforts, and the scientific community should embrace him for that and the reasons for why his discovery turned out to be otherwise given to him, along with methods of how future research can be conducted.


Definitely! The kid is curious, committed and he has gumption. Nothing at all wrong with that and I agree, the media certainly sensationalized the story but that's the nature of the beast — a story like that brings in the visitors and visitors mean ad revenue.
edit on 2016-5-11 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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All the others matched. And here:


Based on these expert reactions, it seems unlikely that this Canadian teen’s green rectangles are lost Maya structures. But as Garrison pointed out, only a ground-based expedition to the area will confirm things one way or another.


Speculation does not disprove what archeologists might discover around there.

Don't know either way but one thing I don't trust, is armchair experts.
edit on 11-5-2016 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: Onesmartdog


Hey, you've got nothing at all to apologize for and if anyone is pissed about something this trivial... Piss on them. The only point I was trying to raise in your thread was that an irresponsible media ran with a story and touted it as if this kid had decoded and translated the Mayan language. It was a click bait headline and in all honesty, I or any number of other members probably would have posted it had you not done so first.

My contention was, as I stated above, that they ran with a cutesy story because it featured a kid and the possibility he had potentially done sometching that any professional Anthropologist or Archaeologist would give a kidney for. They then glossed over the fact that a formal investigation needed to be done to confirm the existence of a complex, which was blown way out of proportion with the claim of 30 buildings, or prove that it was nothing more than an unused cornfield.

As far as the science aspects of it, I tried to be kind because it is after all a 15 year old kid who means well and clearly has a love of the archaeological field as well as the Maya. But since Antideluvian has breached thst seal, the first thing thst came to mind for me was that to build all of the cities as an earthly mirror to their celestial fixations would have required a great deal of planning far beyond what was required for Giza and the Valley of the Kings.

Just to put some perspective on it, the pre-classical Maya began building cities around 750 BCE and by 500 BCE they were incorporating monumental architecture including ornate temples with elaborate stucco facades. By the 3rd century BCE they had a fully developed system of writing in place. Now if we exclude the pre-classic period and stick with just the classic period, we still have to factor in a massive hurdle to a construction project of this nature.

The minor hurdle is that the classic period lasted for a little over 600 years of city building. Compare that to Giza which was built over 3 succeeding generations. That may be able to be worked with to an extent, except that the major obstacle is that the Maya were not governed by any sort of centralized system. They shared a language, religion, culture and most customs but each of these cities which controlled, depending on the city in question, a substantial chunk of land including expansive farmland, but it was much more like Ancient Greece in that they were all independent City States. There was no impetus for conformity nor was there a centralized government to enforce a plan of this magnitude so it just, to me, seems very far fetched that every Mayan city would correspond to stars or constellations.

Does Amy of that mean thst this 15 year old kid was wrong? Not at all. It's just a counterpoint based on known facts about the Maya, their culture and the timeline of their civilization. The only way to know definitively is to get some dirt movers out their with their trowels amd see what, if anything, is at the coordinates thst he thinks may hold an as yet undiscovered. Mayan city. Even at known Mayan sites, there are many places left to dig. When I was at Tulum a couple of years ago there were very obvious structures buried under enough earth thst they looked like small hills so it is entirely reasonable, likely and highly probably that there is more in the Central American jungle waiting to be rediscovered for the first time in hundreds of years.

edit on 11-5-2016 by peter vlar because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:16 PM
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It will be neat to find out more about this...
If I could... I would employ some ground penetrating equipment to verify if anything was buried under the location...
For the simple fact it's almost like a treasure map...
If there are no ruins there yet everything else was linked to stars it seems this site if not for ruins has a seperate purpose...
I wouldn't be so quick to say there is nothing this site has to offer anyway....



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10


I have recently read about one of the latest list cities that was splashed all over the media, turns out itcwssnt list at all, the locals knew it was there, it was even excavated in the early 20 th century.


La Ciudad Blanca ("White City" aka "White City of the Monkey God") or Mahendraparvata in Cambodia maybe?



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:44 PM
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I found some additional information about how the young man, his hypothesis and how he came to be in contact with the Canadian Space Agency that I thought I'd share.

Wired - That Long-Lost Mayan City a Teen Found Isn’t Lost … or a City


This much is true: William Gadoury, now 15, won a contest to present his theory that Mayan cities were correlated with constellations at a conference a few years ago. He happened to be next to a booth of the Canadian Space Agency, where scientists took notice and decided to help the kid out. So Canada turned its RADARSAT-2, a satellite that usually tracks sea ice and shipping in Canada, to a remote corner of Mexico—right where Goudry’s constellation theory predicted a city would be. Lo and behold, those images seemed to show manmade structures.

Satellite imagery can be a powerful tool for studying the ancient world. “Space archaeologists” like Sarah Parcak want to use readily available data like this to lower the barriers to entry in science, and a teenager finding a long-lost city would be a pretty stunning proof of concept. But that isn’t what the images show.

The square in the CSA’s satellite images is probably an abandoned field, and another spot may be a small dry lake or clearing in the jungle, says archaeologist Ivan Šprajc. Gizmodo, in its updated story, has noted the same about the square structure.


Bonus:

See just how much literary license Daily Mail takes! At the bottom of their article, there is a picture of a pyramid from Chichen Itza captioned:


Scientists believe the pyramid, which is similar to this one in Chichen-Itza in Mexico, was undiscovered until now because of the remoteness of the area and the fact the area was covered by heavy undergrowth


That's plain egregious.



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:50 PM
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I just posted this in the other thread, but I'll post it here as well...

Parts of That 'Lost Maya City' Might Actually Be a Marijuana Grow-Op


We’ve now heard from an anthropologist from the University of California San Diego’s Mesoamerican Archaeology Laboratory who’s actually seen this area with his own eyes. “We’ve visited them, and my grad students know them quite well,” explained Geoffrey E. Braswell to Gizmodo. “They’re not Maya pyramids.”

Braswell and his colleagues are familiar with this remote part of Mexico because they’re collaborators on a German-Mexican archaeological project near the area, one led by Nikolai Grube from the University of Bonn and Antonio Benavides from Insitituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.



“They’re either abandoned cornfields, or active marijuana fields,” he told Gizmodo. Intriguingly, marijuana operations are common in the area.


In the article, it states that one of these scientists has physically been to at least part of this area, recognizes it, and is positive that it's nothing more than fields. I'm leaning towards the same conclusion, based on the available information. The question now, is whether or not these are corn fields, or part of a grow operation. In either case, I'm not holding my breath for anything terribly significant.
edit on 5/11/2016 by AdmireTheDistance because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: AdmireTheDistance

Thanks for the info!



posted on May, 12 2016 @ 12:49 AM
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a reply to: Onesmartdog

Don't you be sorry for putting up an interesting archaeological and religious thread. How many threads do you see put up on politics which then prove to be wrong - Keep going.



posted on May, 12 2016 @ 12:59 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The boy stepped in to the world of magic, lets see how this progress..

I believe the boy should continue his work, even though leading experts says otherwise..



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