Christopher Begley wants to know why legends about a lost civilization are so pervasive in the Mosquito Coast region. "This is something everybody's talked about informally for a long time in terms of archaeologists and anthropologists, but no one has systematically explored it," he says.
Begley's work, which will be featured in an upcoming National Geographic documentary, intends to tease apart the stories, which come in many variations depending on the source.
"It's a legend... about some sort of lost civilization, an El Dorado type legend. If it were to exist and it dated to the same time period as other archaeological sites in the area, probably about a 1000 to 1,500 years ago," Begley says.
Begley adds that, while he doesn't believe this particular lost city exists, the legend does hold clues about the way the public relates to the past.