Legendary, lost civilization discovered in Honduras rainforest 1,000 years later

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Mar 4, 2015, 10:44 AM EST

Archaeologists have spent decades trying to find the mysterious “City of the Monkey God,” and it looks like a recent expedition into the Honduran rainforest has finally found the legendary city. Anyone have Indiana Jones’ cell number?

National Geographic reports on an expedition to Honduras that has uncovered new evidence pointing toward the existence of the mythical civilization, in the form of a lost city that has only existed as rumor up to this point. The team surveyed an earthen pyramid and massive earthworks, and discovered a “remarkable cache” of stone sculptures” that have been undisturbed for hundreds of years.

Along with “City of the Monkey God,” the mysterious locale has also been nicknamed “La Ciudad Blanca,” or “The White City.” The place is such a mystery that researchers don’t even have a name for the civilization at this point. Archaeologists have been searching for the lost city since the 1920s, but the dense rainforests made it almost impossible to find unless you literally just stumbled into it. That changed in 2012, when a modern-day effort laser-mapped the area from the air and discovered some man-made anomalies on the ground.

The city has been a rumor and myth among locals for decades, and it gained the “City of the Monkey God” nickname following Theodore Morde’s 1940 expedition, where he claimed to have found a city with a buried statue of a monkey god and brought back several artifacts. But he never revealed the location of his alleged find, and the location died with him when he later committed suicide.

Scientists plan a ton more research into the site in the coming years, and many believe it represents a legit lost civilization that has never been documented — so it’ll be fascinating to see what comes from future expeditions.

(Via National Geographic, Gizmodo)