Unveiling the Lost Maya City of Okomtun in Mexico: A Journey through Dense Jungles and Ancient Mysteries
In June, Ivan and his team discovered the remains of such an ancient Maya city within Mexico's Balancan region, dating back to the 6th to 8th centuries AD.
Exploration is like an addiction; dense jungle, venomous snakes, and jaguars, nothing can keep one away from that allure. Embracing this statement, Dr. Ivan Sprajc and his team have been searching for the remains of the ancient Maya civilization in the dense jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico for the past 30 years. The jungle hasn't discouraged them; since 2013, this Slovenian archaeologist has uncovered and revealed the remnants of several cities in the jungle. However, the recent discovery has gained more attention and publicity.
In June, Ivan and his team discovered the ruins of an ancient Maya city in the Balancan region of Mexico, dating back to the 7th and 9th centuries AD. Ivan named the city Okomtun, which means 'stone turtle' in the ancient Mayan language. According to the team of archaeologists, they chose this name for the ancient city's structure. The entire city is filled with tall structures resembling pyramids and temples, with some exceeding 50 feet in height.
The Maya civilization was one of the most ancient civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. They flourished in the Americas from the 3rd to the 10th century AD. Researchers have noted that the people of this civilization were highly advanced in astronomy, mathematics, and science. It is said that they even discovered chocolate and rubber. The writing was also prevalent among them. However, suddenly, around the 9th century, this civilization collapsed. The cities were abandoned by their inhabitants.
Ivan has previously discovered several cities hidden deep in the jungle. Notably, in 2013, he found the city of Chactun, from the 8th century, which is estimated to have housed around 40,000 people. After exactly one year, significant discoveries were made, including Lagunita City and Tamchen City. Despite these findings, Ivan believes that the discovery of Okomtun and its demise approximately 1,200 years ago might provide clues as to why the Maya civilization ultimately came to an end. What lies behind the abandonment of their self-made cities? Was it war, invasion, climate change, or a shift in their way of life?
The Balanced region of Balamku is known for its rich biodiversity and density. At least 86 species have been discovered in this area. However, there are no established paths to penetrate the jungle. Using the assistance of his team members and the LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, Ivan initially created a map of the area. Then they began their journey through the jungle to reach the ancient city. It is known that like other Maya cities, this city also features a massive structure at its center. In addition to that, there are ball courts, three market areas, and two pyramid-like structures measuring 50 and 80 feet.
Ivan's discovery has drawn the attention of researchers from both national and international backgrounds, and they claim that Okomtun might provide new insights into the Maya civilization, which has been the subject of research for the past 150 years.
Perhaps "Indiana Jones" may become a reality after all.