Yesterday, the story of William Gadoury's, a 15-year-old teen from Quebec, possible discovery of a lost Mayan city based on made its rounds on the Internet. Gadoury developed the theory that Mayan cities were based upon the location of stars in constellations. However, as Gizmodo has pointed out, a few academics have responded to the teen's claims, skeptical of any of its truth. David Stuart, an anthropologist from The Mesoamerica Center-University of Texas at Austin, took to his Facebook page to call out the "junk science," and stating that the square of land is most likely an abandoned field.
The ancient Maya didn’t plot their ancient cities according to constellations. Seeing such patterns is a rorschach process, since sites are everywhere, and so are stars. The square feature that was found on Google Earth is indeed man-made, but it’s an old fallow cornfield, or milpa.
Very few Maya constellations have been identified, and even in these cases we do not know how many and which stars exactly composed each constellation. It is thus impossible to check whether there is any correspondence between the stars and the location of Maya cities.
Either way, Gadoury's creative approach and dedicated research should be applauded and encouraged. Time will tell exactly what lies beneath the plot of land's green blanket. Head over to Gizmodo to read more.
Feature image via Canadian Space Agency/Google Earth