Karen Fratti
Updated April 19, 2017 9:49 am
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A Wichita State University professor thinks that he’s found Etzanoa, a lost Native American city in the middle of Kansas. Donald Blakeslee believes that he’s stumbled upon the city, which reportedly might have housed 20,000 people. He’s been researching the city since 2015, but when a high school kid found a half-inch iron cannon ball in the area and a water shrine, Blakeslee was convinced his theory about the size of the city was correct.

So here’s the scoop: way back in 1601, Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate wrote of this huge city they came across made of “beehived” homes. Blakesless told the Wichita Eagle:

“They counted 2,000 houses that could hold 10 people each. They said it would take two or three days to walk through it all.”

That’s a pretty big city. The local Wichita tribe fled when they saw the Spanish coming, so the Spaniards themselves turned around and came under attack from the Escanxaques, who were on their way to attack the Etzanoans.

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Apart from the cannonballs, Blakeslee was led to the site after re-translating some old Spanish documents. Other researchers were working off of translations that had some major mistakes, so they’ve been misled about the city, and whether or not it existed and also misidentified artifacts found in the area. It’s been a mystery for 400 years. But Blakeslee’s cracked the code.