Back in March 2015 I blogged about the Lost City of the Monkey God (see link below) several times and now comes news that the President of Honduras has sent an archaeological team into the area where the ruins are believed to exist. The ancient city is also known as the “White City” due to its use of white cut stone in its construction.
An aerial search of the jungle two years ago fueled local legends of an ancient lost white stone city and that search revealed what appears to be miles of man-made structures. In a bit of jumping the gun announcements quickly spread that archaeologists had found the legendary La Ciudad Blanca (The White City) but they really had nothing to go on other than the vague scans of the jungle which COULD be man-made structures or could NOT be man-made structures.
The aerial scans were followed up by a ground expedition early last year and that expedition DID find ruins of a lost civilization in the jungle. In fact, that team found the ruins of extensive plazas, earthworks, mounds, and a pyramid along with dozens of carved artifacts belonging to an unknown culture. But the question is whether or not these are the ruins of the legendary La Ciudad Blanca or not. Needless to say there is a lot of speculation about the ruins and hopefully the new team will be able to determine if the ruins are in fact the Lost City of the Monkey God or some other unknown civilization.
Legend has it that the White City was located in the rain forest of Mosquitia in the eastern part of Honduras. The legend was told to the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortez who reported that he heard the legend from a “trustworthy source.” However, the legendary city was never located by Cortez or anyone else. Then in 1927 the famous pilot Charles Lindbergh flying over the region reported seeing monuments in the jungle constructed of white stone. Then came the 1930s and rumors abounded about the “Lost City of the Monkey God” which was said to be the same as the legendary La Ciudad Blanca. The adventurer Theodore Morde in 1939 claimed he’d actually found the ruins and he brought back thousands of artifacts to the US to prove his find. Morde said he’d been told by some indigenous people that a giant statue of a “monkey god” was buried amid the ruins but Morde never told anyone the precise location of the ruins because he feared the site would be looted by treasure hunters. He planned on returning to the site but died before he could. In 1952 the explorer Tibor Sekeji searched for the legendary White City in an expedition financed by the Honduran Ministry of Culture but found nothing. Finally, in the 1990s and in 2012 the first significant discovery was made.
Following the aerial scans a ground expedition was launched led by Christopher Fisher, an expert on Mesoamerican ruins from Colorado State University. He and his team identified that they’d found an extensive complex made of earthworks, plazas, pyramids, irrigation canals, mounds, reservoirs, and stone sculptures that had been untouched since the city was abandoned long ago. That was in March of last year. The ruins, apparently, are not Mayan and as it stands right now we don’t even have a name for the people who built them.
Fisher and his team found 52 artifacts protruding from the soil including ceremonial seats made of stone and various vessels decorated with animal and zoomorphic figures. The most striking find was the head of what Fisher believed to be a were-jaguar which possibly depicts a shaman being transformed into a spirit state. Fisher and his team believe thousands more artifacts lay buried in the earth at the site. The Honduran president said investigations will begin by investigating what is beneath the soil.
The legend says that there was a giant carved stone monkey god which was the centerpiece of the ancient La Ciudad Blanca which the people worshiped as their god. Question is did it depict a species of small monkeys found in Central America or did it depict an ape. There are NO apes in the Americas as far as we know and never have been. IF the carving is of an ape then the question is how did these ancient people know what an ape (gorilla) looked like?
This is a fascinating subject for me and if researchers do discover a giant carved statue of an ape then that find will change everything we THINK we know about the region and people. As I said in my previous posts this Lost City of the Monkey God reminds me of the movie King Kong whose natives worshiped Kong as a god. Of course that movie is fantasy BUT it may turn out to have an element of truth in it should we find a giant statue of a monkey god.
As I said in previous posts I’m keeping an eye on this subject and will write more about any new finds or information that comes out of the site. I’m very happy to hear that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has launched the newest expedition and hopefully this expedition will give us some answers as to just who these people were, where they went, and if they worshiped a monkey or ape as their god.