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The Lost City of Gold

Have Scientists Finally Discovered the Lost City of Gold?

For more than 500 years, explorers, scientists and researchers have been hunting for the legendary City of Gold , which according to ancient myth, is a buried metropolis full of gold and relics.  Now, using the most advanced scanning methods, archaeologists believe they may have found it deep in the rainforest of Mosquitia, Honduras.

The City of Gold, also known as The White City, was probably home to a sophisticated Mesoamerican society, with paved streets, parks, pyramids and an advanced irrigation system, according to the lead archaeologists, Christopher Fisher and Stephen Leisz of Colorado State University.

The Conquistadors are known to have searched endlessly for the city in the 1500s, and, throughout the 1900s, multiple attempts were made by archaeologists to find it.  During this period, a number of mounds and other signs of ancient civilizations were uncovered. However, the City of Gold remained elusive. 

However, scientists have now used an advanced 3D mapping technology called LIDAR, which sends out laser pulses and measures how they bounce off vegetation and the ground, enabling the surface hidden below the forest canopy to be mapped.  "We use lidar to pinpoint where human structures are by looking for linear shapes and rectangles," Colorado State University researcher Stephen Leisz said, "nature doesn't work in straight lines."

Using this technique, archaeologists have found what appear to be ruins, including canals, roads, building foundations and terraced agricultural land.  A team of archaeologists will battle the dense and unforgiving rainforest later this year to determine whether the ancient ruins are indeed the City of Gold.

The discovery of the ruins would suggests that the region’s pre-Hispanic civilisation was significantly more developed than previously thought.

By April Holloway

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