Documentary to Reveal Underwater Maya City

There is never a dull moment in the world of Maya studies, and documentary filmmakers have been there for some of the most exciting moments. This year, look for the release of “Mayan Blue,” a feature-length documentary film by Standoff Studios about the discovery of a city 50 feet below the surface of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

In an article entitled, “S.C. film studio produces documentary about underwater Mayan city“, LaTina Emerson reports in the Augusta Chronicle, “Televisa News has reported on the city, named Samabaj, which it said is in Lake Atitlan, about 186 miles from Guatemala City. The city is believed to be more than 2,000 years old.”

She goes on, “Researchers believed the area, 50 feet below the lake’s surface, was once an island until a catastrophic event, such as a volcanic eruption or landslide, raised water levels. The rising lake covered the buildings around A.D. 250. Lead archaeologist Sonia Medrano said that researchers had found six ceremonial monuments, four altars and religious paraphernalia, which indicate it was ‘an extremely important place from a spiritual point of view.'”

I’m curious whether the dive site will be accessible to travelers. People can only dive the 1,100-foot-deep lake at certain times of year, the article reports. “Standoff Studios has been filming the underwater city since 2007. The crew has worked with some of the world’s leading archaeologists.”

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