From massive fortresses to sprawling suburbs, a bold new vision of the vanished Maya civilization takes shape.
Thomas Garrison pauses in the middle of the jungle.
“That’s the causeway right there,” he says, pointing into a random patch of greenery in the Guatemalan lowlands.
I squint, trying to make out features in the tangled rainforest undergrowth. There’s a small lump, rising no more than a foot or two from the forest floor.
The Ithaca College archaeologist has spotted the buried remnants of a Maya road, a ribbon of limestone that once cut through the wrinkled landscape. We’re a full day’s walk from civilization, standing in the remains of a once-populous kingdom. The road before us is just one piece of a vast network leading to terraced fields, reservoirs, defensive fortifications and more, all sprawling invisibly throughout the forest.