Mexico's 1,500-year-old unknown pyramids.

Built by indigenous masons, these 1,500-year-old pyramids are still standing strong, held together by sticky juice from the prickly pear cactus.

From a distance, the grey volcanic rock pyramids and their encircling stonewalls looked like something that Mother Nature had wrought herself. Located in CaƱada de La Virgen (The Valley of the Virgin), an area about 30 miles outside the city of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico's central highlands, the stone formations blended into the arid, desiccated landscape like a diminutive mountain range.

But as I got closer to the largest of the three structures, there was no doubt it was man-made. A staircase of identical steps, etched into the hard, dark rock, had clearly required a skilled mason's hand. The other two pyramids, smaller and less well-preserved, bore a similarly unmistakable human touch. The timeworn edifices were erected by a civilisation long gone.

Locals had long been aware of the ruins outside their city. Some rumoured that there were dead people buried in the stone pyramids, while others spoke of hidden gold. Grave diggers had looted the structures and even tried to blow them up with dynamite, but whether they found any fortunes is not recorded. Unexcavated for centuries, the site remained largely unknown to the world beyond San Miguel de Allende, until a team of Mexican archaeologists started digging deeper in the early 2000s.

Source: www.bbc.com

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