By Noah Burd
Excitement in Veracruz, Mexico, as George Hertz of the archaeological team the Red Jaguars, confirmed the existence of a long-rumored hidden temple.
Since 1993, six archaeological teams have mounted expeditions to seek the temple. Red Jaguars aside, the Blue Barracudas, the Green Monkeys, the Orange Iguanas, the Purple Parrots and the Silver Snakes were all looking for the temple. With so many archaeological teams searching for the fabled temple, one wonders why it took such a long time to uncover the ruin, but temple guide Kirk Fogg pointed to some of the obstacles that lay in the way.
“The moat that surrounds the temple is virtually impassable,” he explained. “The only bridges were built by Mayans long ago out of Goodyear tires suspended in midair by rope. A truly mystifying people.”
Neither the Silver Snakes nor the Orange Iguanas managed to successfully cross the moat. Silver Snake Yoni Gitsuno does not think his team’s expedition was in vain.
“I got a super soaker even though we didn’t cross the moat fast enough,” he said.
All four of the remaining teams studied under famed television icon and giant stone head Dr. Patrick Olmec in the Nickelodeon Studios program at University of Universal Studios at Orlando, Fla. Olmec is known for his radical archaeology method, which includes the smashing of precious clay pots in order to search for keys.
“Olmec taught me all I needed to know,” Hertz said. “We approached the temple only to realize that there were steps. Steps … of knowledge. We had the knowledge. All we had to do was stomp on the ancient markings and answer.”
Though both the Green Monkeys and Red Jaguars made it to this point, Fogg remembers being weary of the Green Monkeys’ ability to safely navigate the temple, and he thus advised them not to go further.
“They didn’t have any pendants of life,” said a foreboding Fogg. “You don’t go into a temple if you don’t have any pendants of life!”
Despite the drama surrounding the temple’s discovery and, of course, the inevitable smashing of precious clay pots, the temple’s discovery has led to an unusually successful excavation. Robbers seem to avoid the site due to the regional myth of the temple guard spirits. Of all the artifacts, however, one stands out as more notable than all the others.
“The Silver Monkey—it’s extremely difficult to assemble,” Hertz said. “None of us here can make heads nor tails of how to put the three pieces together.”
Recognizing the contributions to archaeology that the Red Jaguars have made, Barack Obama awarded the team a travel gear set, a multimedia CD and a week at space camp.
Noah Burd is a freshman biology major who needs another pendant of life. E-mail him at [email protected].