William Gadoury used old star maps, satellite images, Google Earth to locate an unknown Mayan city.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a synopsis of articles from Canadian, United Kingdom and Australian newspapers about a boy who may have discovered an ancient Mayan City. Since the story broke in May 2016, some archaeologists have dismissed the boy’s discovery for various reasons.  They may be right, but you have to admire the boy’s ingenuity.

William Gadoury, a 15-year-old boy from Quebec, Canada, grabbed newspaper headlines in May 2016 when he claimed he may have discovered an ancient unknown Mayan city.

The teen, who has been fascinated by the Mayan civilization since 2012, couldn’t under- stand why the Maya built their cities away from rivers and often on marginal lands and in the mountains.

Eventually, he compared star maps from ancient books with Google Earth images of the Yucatan Peninsula and found more than 100 cities corresponded with the position of the stars – and larger cities corresponded with brighter stars. 

Deeper study revealed one city which should have matched a three-star constellation, was missing. He then used satellite images provided by the Canadian Space Agency and mapped those over Google Earth maps.

According to Daniel De Lisle with the Canadian Space Agency, the RADARSAT-2 satellite found “linear features that would suggest there is something underneath that big canopy.”

Dr. Armand La Rocque, of the Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of New Brunswick, said one image showed a street network and a large square which could possibly be a pyramid.  He added that William’s method might lead archaeologists to find other Mayan cities.

William’s discovery of a city he’s named K’aak Chi (Mouth of Fire) will be published in a scientific journal. He will present his findings at Brazil’s International Science fair in 2017.

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