Unearthed in the southeast of the Mexican state of Campeche, the cities were barely accessible to the research team. But the challenging journey reaped great rewards, with the discovery of the ruins of a pyramid, palace, altars and a huge doorway, Discovery News reported.
The cities of Lagunita and Tamchen had been first been discovered by archaeologist Eric Von Euw in the 1970s, however he didn’t specify their location and they remained quite the mystery.
Now, for the first time, they are out in the light and could provide crucial information in understanding the Mayan civilization.
Ivan Sprajc, of the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) said it was a difficult hunt, and they relied on aerial photographs to help locate the sites.
Sprajc’s team had been exploring the area around Chactun, the site of a large Maya city discovered last year.
The most impressive find was a giant door carved in the shape of a “monster” mouth, which is believed to represent a Mayan deity of fertility of the land.
“These doors symbolise the entrance to a cave, and in general, to a watery world, the place of origin of maize and mythological abode of the ancestors,” explains Sprajc.
There was also a ball court and a temple spanning nearly 20 metres high. They were surrounded by stone shafts and three stone alters. Plus hieroglyphic inscriptions.
Experts believe they may have been built in the Preclassic era (300BC-250AD).