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Lost Mayan cities unearthed in Mexican jungle

Rodrigo Cokting
Staff writer

Saturday, August 23, 2014, 2:42 PM - In southeast Mexico, the secrets left behind by the ancient Mayan civilization are still being revealed.

Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Sprajc found two cities that date back to about 600 A.D. in the jungle and believes that there could be dozens more to find. The cities–being called Lagunita and Tamchen– are located on the Yucatan peninsula.

Each site contained structures that were reminiscent of palaces, plazas and pyramids –one of which was nearly 20 metres tall. Sprajc's team covered an area of about 12 hectares at each site, but says the cities were probably larger than that. At one site the facade had carvings similar to the mouth of a monster which could have been the entrance to the ancient city.

For the Slovenian archaeologist, the next challenge is money. Dozens of sites have been spotted using aerial photography but further investigating is only possible through funding.

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The impressive Maya

Although the Mayan civilization is closely tied to Mexico, during their peak they also inhabited land that is currently part of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Belize. Dozens of dialects were spoken across their vast territory which gave birth to more than 40 modern Mayan variations today.

The Mayas were known for their art and architecture. Elaborate male ornaments with rare quetzal feathers and beautiful structures like Chichén Itzá are tied closely to this civilization.

It wasn't until 1697 when conquistadors took the cities of Tayasal and Zacpeten that the Mayan civilization fell to Spanish hands.

MUST-SEE: The Mexican jungle is full of wildlife but you don't need to travel that far for some fun encounters. Just check out this video below!

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