From 2012, 15-year-old Canadian William Gadoury shunned the normal temptations of adolescence in favour of an interest in ancient Mayan civilisation.
After poring over maps of Mayan city sites and star constellations, Gadoury found that there was a link between the positions of the celestial bodies and the cities themselves and devoted the next three years to tracking them all down.
22 constellations, 117 cities and three years later, Gadoury stumbled across the discovery he’d been looking for: a star that didn’t correspond to any known Mayan site. After trawling through the geographies of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, he uncovered a 23rd constellation wherein only two of the three stars matched the location of an already discovered city.
He got in contact with the Canadian Space Agency and worked in tandem with the organisation to obtain satellite photographs of the location he had pinpointed. What did the pictures reveal? Oh only evidence of one of the largest Mayan centres of civilisation to have ever been discovered.
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While the CSA are still waiting on physical confirmation of the satellite images, Gadoury has already received a medal of merit from the body and hopes to visit the ruins in person, one day. “It would be the culmination of my three years of work and the dream of my life,” he told the Journal de Montréal.