Feature

In search of Sac Balam

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6457, pp. 966-970
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6457.966

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

This summer, a small team of archaeologists, guides, and observers trekked into the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in southern Mexico in search of a lost city. Called Sac Balam, or "the white jaguar," it was founded more than 400 years ago by the Lacandon Maya, one of several Indigenous groups in southern Mexico and Central America who resisted Spanish colonial rule for centuries. Until 1695, that is, when the Spanish finally found the city. Less than 20 years later, they forcibly relocated its inhabitants and abandoned the place once and for all. It faded off colonial maps and back into the forest. If found, Sac Balam could offer archaeologists an unparalleled time capsule of Lacandon culture, showing how they preserved their independence as the world changed around them.

View Full Text