Hidden ancient cities have been discovered in the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala

Technological research conducted in various Maya sites has revealed the world’s first road system.

In 2018, a team of archaeologists discovered over 60,000 Maya structures (houses, palaces, elevated roads, and other man-made elements) hidden in the jungle of Guatemala. This discovery is considered one of the most significant advancements in Maya archaeology as it offers a new insight into the culture and society of this ancient civilization.

The discovery was made possible thanks to LiDAR technology (short for “Light Detection and Ranging”), which allows for the creation of 3D images of the Earth’s surface. This technology enabled archaeologists to digitally remove the tree canopy from the images and see through the dense vegetation of the jungle, thus uncovering the ruins of a much larger, complex, and interconnected Maya civilization than previously thought.

This year, 2023, scientists have discovered another enormous 2000-year-old Maya site hidden beneath a Guatemalan tropical jungle, comprising nearly 1000 interconnected urban settlements connected by 160 km of causeways in an area of 1700 square kilometers.
These findings were recorded in northern Guatemala and parts of the southern Mexican state of Campeche, where this complex network of roads, about 40 meters wide, and elevated on terraces ranging from two to five meters, was discovered.
The research mapped 964 ancient settlements in 417 cities in the Petén jungle, elevated on terraces ranging from two to five meters. This is the causeway system–built centuries before the Christian era and was discovered alongside hundreds of ancient archaeological sites in the Maya area.

This discovery has been referred to by researchers as “the world’s first highway or superhighway system,” and it demonstrates the capacity of the Maya people, who were organized and adapted to live in a tropical forest environment. It indicates that they possessed a high level of organization and socio-political and economic structure.

This discovery could be one of the most significant regarding the Maya civilization, whose heyday dates back to the period between 250 and 900 A.D. when it extended its influence over southern Mexico and what are now Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Thanks to the revelations previously published by the University of Cambridge, experts believe that there are many hidden treasures beneath the lush jungle foliage.