The first site, called the Tamchen, has a 45-foot-tall pyramid, plazas, and grand buildings. Its name means “deep well” in Yucatec Maya, in reference to the presence of over 30 underground water tanks.
The second site was first found by American researcher Eric von Euw in 1970s. It was known as the Lagunita. His drawings of several headstones in Lagunita, including a frontage depicting open jaw of a reptile, were never published.
There were several attempts to relocate the site but failed. Until recently, archaeologists used von Euw’s sketches, which were kept in Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Harvard University, to relocate the ruins in a forest-covered site.
Researchers have found unique characteristics in the lost cities, including the shapes of some altars and the forms of hieroglyphics.
The National Institute for Anthropology and History in Mexico said the discoveries will help archaeologists examine the cultural and political histories of an area known as the Central Lowlands of the Maya region, now a remote part of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.