Honduras strikes gold in 'Lost White City'?

16th May 2013

Researchers in Honduras think they may have unearthed the lost "White City of Gold" - using technology normally reserved for military observation.

If the myth proves a reality, Ciudad Blanca would be Honduras' answer to forgotten cultural sites such as Peru's Machu Picchu, which lay ruined for hundreds of years.

Any positive identification of the fabled "White City" or Ciudad Blanca would not only prove a future "must-see" destination for holidaymakers on group tours. It would also rekindle hopes of discovering El Dorado, the legendary "Lost City of Gold".

Researchers flying over the Mosquitia region fired billions of laser pulses at the ground to create a 3D digital map of the topology beneath the jungle canopy.

Analysts from the University of Houston and the National Centre for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) found what seems to be man-made elevation changes.

They include a forgotten city plaza dotted with pyramids and overgrown with jungle.

Legend has it Ciudad Blanca is packed with gold and has been sought out by explorers and treasure hunters for centuries.

Cinematographer Steven Elkins sought backing from private investors to pay for the NCLAM team to use their laser mapping technology to chart Mosquitia's forest floor.

This is one of the first times laser mapping has been used to find ancient ruins.

Archaeologists will now trek through the thick forest to see the site for themselves.

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