Artifacts are extracted from the mythical White City, an ancient civilization uncovered in Honduran jungle.
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Archaeologists in the dense jungle of Honduras began extracting on Tuesday (January 12) dozens of artifacts from what is thought to be the mythical White City, a site where they believe twin cities from an ancient civilization once thrived. The artifacts were unearthed at the site of an unknown civilization which was discovered in 2012, in the eastern Mosquitia region of Honduras, about 200 miles (322 km) northeast of the Honduran capital. President Juan Orlando Hernandez visited the site and talked to archaeologists who worked amid tight military surveillance because the site is located in an area where drug cartels operate. The excavation site continues to be guarded by army troops to protect it from looting and the presence of drug traffickers. The remains point to a civilization with advanced artistic and engineering skills which are distinct from ancient Mayan cites also known to the region. A vessel with handles shaped like the head of a vulture and a tray with a jaguar's head made from clay dating from 1000 to 1500 years after Christ were among the artifacts extracted from a ceremonial city baptized "Jaguar City" and were presented in Catacamas, located in eastern Honduras. They are among more than 60 objects, including mostly-buried stone sculptures resembling men and jaguars as well as the remains of a pyramid and other structures, found here and which have been identified by a team of specialists from the United States and Honduras, in an area measuring some 20 square kilometers (7.7 square miles) where three cities have been found. The pre-Columbian ruins are believed to date from between 1,000 and 1,200 A.D. and were first detected in 2012 using aerial mapping techniques. "For the first time we're able to study this culture systematically. And we're also able to draw the world's attention to La Mosquitia," said archaeologist Christopher Fisher, at a press conference where some of the artifacts were displayed. The mythical White City was first mentioned by Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. Another lost "City of the Monkey God" was popularized by American explorer Theodore Morde who claimed he made the discovery in the same region of Honduras in 1939.