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Judi Lynn

(160,979 posts)
Thu Dec 29, 2022, 06:09 AM Dec 2022

Settlements In Guatemala, Raising Questions About Past Settlements

Elle Yap / Dec 28 2022, 09:55PM EST

A group of researchers in Northern Guatemala using new technology have found a 2,000-year-old Mayan settlement that raises questions about how the people in the area lived their daily lives. This is a representational image. Laura LaBrie/Unsplash.

Researchers from France and the United States who are using new technology to survey an area in Northern Guatemala have announced on Wednesday that they have found an ancient Mayan settlement in the area that raises questions about the civilization’s past.

The survey of the remains of the settlement was done by a research team from the U.S. and France led by Idaho State University archaeologist Richard D. Hansen, exploring the Mirador-Calakmul Karst Basin in Northern Guatemala and finding 964 new settlements that have been hidden from archeologists for years, according to Artnet News.

The team was using LiDAR technology, short for Light Detection and Ranging, to survey the area better. Hansen’s team remarked that the technology being used is better suited for archeological digs in Central and South America due to their ability to see through the vast rainforests of the region, ARTnews reported.

Using the LiDAR technology, they were able to create a three-dimensional model of the settlements that were buried in the area, and found a 2,000-year-old Mayan settlement in the area that raises question about the current prevailing theories about the Mayan civilization that we have today.

The LiDAR technology established that some settlements which would have been seen as separate from each other in previous digs might actually have been interconnected due to finding miles of raised beds. These may have been used as roads that suggested “a social and economic cohesion that exceed those of lesser polities during these periods.”

Also found during the study were around 30 ball courts, which suggested that these ancient Mayan settlements were advanced enough to have areas made specifically for play and relaxation through ancient Mesoamerican sports. A huge 230-foot pyramid was also discovered in the area, further suggesting a centralized system.


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Settlements In Guatemala, Raising Questions About Past Settlements (Original Post) Judi Lynn Dec 2022 OP
A Vast 2,000-Year-Old Mayan 'Kingdom' Discovered in Guatemala Challenges Ideas of Mesoamerica Judi Lynn Dec 2022 #1

Judi Lynn

(160,979 posts)
1. A Vast 2,000-Year-Old Mayan 'Kingdom' Discovered in Guatemala Challenges Ideas of Mesoamerica
Thu Dec 29, 2022, 10:05 AM
Dec 2022

Story by Tessa Solomon • Yesterday 11:19 AM

The map of parts of the Mirador-Calakmul Karst Basin in Guatemala using. LiDAR
© Provided by ArtNews

The remains of a vast Mayan “kingdom” were found in Northern Guatemala, raising questions over the daily lives and demise of its inhabitants 2,000 years ago, according to a report published in the journal Ancient Mesoamerica earlier this month.

The ancient metropolis contained more than 1,000 settlements densely packed together over 650 square miles — challenging the theory that most Mesoamerican settlements were sparsely populated. The site was discovered by an international team of researchers from the United States and France, who published their findings in the journal.

The site was located using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a sensing method that uses laser light to measure distances. The technology is well suited to surveying archaeological sites in Central and South America, as the laser is capable of penetrating thick rainforest canopies.

Researchers flew over an area known as the Mirador-Calakmul Karst Basin (MCKB) and directed light pulses towards the ground, generating a three-dimensional map of the Earth’s surface. The survey of the Mayan site revealed more than 100 miles of causeways, or raised beds used as roads, “forming a web of implied social, political, and economic interactions,” the authors of the paper wrote.


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