Written By: Mundomisterioso & Inexplicata
The discovery of the ruins of a Pre-Columbian city in the middle of a forested area of the departments of Olancho and Colón dazzled archaeologists due to its characteristics, which are completely different from those of the Maya civilization, according to experts.
The city, covering some six hectares, "is a site of several complexes, with dwelling, occupation and ceremonial areas," explained Mexican archaeologist Francisco Heredia, a member of the Instituto Hondureno de Antropologia e Historia (IHAH)'s Archaeology Department. Heredia added that the site features "three plazas, some of them in excess of 100 meters, and stelae up to one meter high."
The new-found city, whose date of occupation is still unknown, is in the site known as "Los Encuentros" because it is the place where the Tayaco and Los Naranjos rivers meet, in the vicinity of the community of San Esteban.
"We don't know what era the discovered objects belong to. It is possible that a project with IHAH will be undertaken to conduct Carbon-14 dating tests," said the expert.
Heredia displayed photos of the mounds, axes, collar beads and a grindstone, among other items, discovered during the expedition undertaken between May 2 - 11 by a team of 11, including biologists, archaeologists and other experts. The expedition, undertaken by the "Honduras Indomita" project and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, had the goal of finding information related to the region's biodiversity and to pursue investigations conducted 2 years ago by U.S. scientist Mark Bonta.
Heredia believes that the city did not belong to the Maya civilization nor was linked to it, because the ceramic objects found are smooth and not engraved like Maya handicrafts.
(originally appeared in LA PRENSA, May 20, 2003)