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Thu Feb 1, 2018, 02:43 PM

Exclusive: Laser Scans Reveal Maya "Megalopolis" Below Guatemalan Jungle


A vast, interconnected network of ancient cities was home to millions more people than previously thought.





Laser technology known as LiDAR digitally removes the forest canopy to reveal
ancient ruins below, showing that Maya cities such as Tikal were much larger
than ground-based research had suggested.
COURTESY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

By Tom Clynes
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

In what’s being hailed as a “major breakthrough” in Maya archaeology, researchers have identified the ruins of more than 60,000 houses, palaces, elevated highways, and other human-made features that have been hidden for centuries under the jungles of northern Guatemala.



Laser scans revealed more than 60,000 previously unknown Maya structures
that were part of a vast network of cities, fortifications, farms, and highways.
COURTESY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC


Using a revolutionary technology known as LiDAR (short for “Light Detection And Ranging”), scholars digitally removed the tree canopy from aerial images of the now-unpopulated landscape, revealing the ruins of a sprawling pre-Columbian civilization that was far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed.

“The LiDAR images make it clear that this entire region was a settlement system whose scale and population density had been grossly underestimated,” said Thomas Garrison, an Ithaca College archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer who specializes in using digital technology for archaeological research.

Garrison is part of a consortium of researchers who are participating in the project, which was spearheaded by the PACUNAM Foundation, a Guatemalan nonprofit that fosters scientific research, sustainable development, and cultural heritage preservation.

More:
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/maya-laser-lidar-guatemala-pacunam/

9 replies, 4156 views

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Reply Exclusive: Laser Scans Reveal Maya "Megalopolis" Below Guatemalan Jungle (Original post)
Judi Lynn Feb 2018 OP
hibbing Feb 2018 #1
niyad Feb 2018 #2
Judi Lynn Feb 2018 #3
Javaman Feb 2018 #4
Puzzler Feb 2018 #5
packman Feb 2018 #6
Judi Lynn Feb 2018 #7
Judi Lynn Feb 2018 #8
sinkingfeeling Feb 2018 #9

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Feb 1, 2018, 02:46 PM

1. So cool

Amazing, I would love to visit some of these places. Thanks for posting!


Peace

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Feb 1, 2018, 02:46 PM

2. k and r. thank you for this eye-opening information!

(I wonder what laser scans in this country would show of the indigenous people's villages, cities,

etc-)

bookmarking for in-depth reading later.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Feb 1, 2018, 05:27 PM

3. Thousands of Mysterious Maya Structures Discovered in Guatemala


By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | February 1, 2018 03:55pm ET

An aerial survey over northern Guatemala has turned up over 60,000 new Maya structures, including pyramids, causeways, house foundations and defensive fortifications.

It's a watershed discovery that has already led archaeologists to new sites to excavate and explore. The findings may also revise estimates of how many ancient Maya once lived in the region upward by "multiple factors," said Tom Garrison, an archaeologist who specializes in the Maya culture and is part of the consortium that funded and organized the survey. Far more ancient Maya lived on the landscape than there are people in the region today, Garrison told Live Science, and they did it without the destructive slash-and-burn agriculture that is crippling the jungle in modern times.

The finding of a sprawling Maya population shows there are means of supporting people in the area without destroying the forest, said Lisa Lucero, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois who was not involved in the new survey. [See Images of the Amazing Maya Discoveries]

Clearing the way

Seeing the evidence of that sprawling population requires stripping away the forest — at least virtually. The new survey used a technology called lidar, which stands for "light detection and ranging." It works by beaming laser pulses at the ground — in this case, from airplanes — and measuring the wavelengths as they bounce back to create a detailed three-dimensional image of the stuff on the ground. It's a little bit like the sonar that bats use to hunt, except it uses light waves instead of sound.

More:
https://www.livescience.com/61616-mysterious-maya-structures-discovered.html?utm_source=notification

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 2, 2018, 11:20 AM

4. Holy Crap! this is amazing! nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 2, 2018, 02:44 PM

5. Fascinating! Thanks for posting this!

-

Puzzler

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Feb 2, 2018, 02:54 PM

6. amazing technology revealing amazing things

Love science -

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Feb 3, 2018, 12:00 AM

7. Scientists find massive Mayan society under Guatemala jungle

Scientists find massive Mayan society under Guatemala jungle



This digital 3D image provided by Guatemala’s Mayan Heritage and Nature Foundation, PACUNAM, shows a depiction of the Mayan archaeological site at Tikal in Guatemala created using LiDAR aerial mapping technology. Researchers announced Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, that using a high-tech aerial mapping technique they have found tens of thousands of previously undetected Mayan houses, buildings, defense works and roads in the dense jungle of Guatemala’s Peten region, suggesting that millions more people lived there than previously thought. (Canuto & Auld-Thomas/PACUNAM via AP) (Associated Press)

By Associated Press February 2 at 8:57 PM



GUATEMALA CITY — Researchers using a high-tech aerial mapping technique have found tens of thousands of previously undetected Mayan houses, buildings, defense works and pyramids in the dense jungle of Guatemala’s Peten region, suggesting that millions more people lived there than previously thought.

The discoveries, which included industrial-sized agricultural fields and irrigation canals, were announced Thursday by an alliance of U.S., European and Guatemalan archaeologists working with Guatemala’s Mayan Heritage and Nature Foundation.

The study estimates that roughly 10 million people may have lived within the Maya Lowlands, meaning that kind of massive food production might have been needed.

“That is two to three times more (inhabitants) than people were saying there were,” said Marcello A. Canuto, a professor of Anthropology at Tulane University.

More:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/scientists-find-massive-mayan-society-under-guatemala-jungle/2018/02/02/f4084488-0880-11e8-aa61-f3391373867e_story.html?utm_term=.41bcd38abb86

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Feb 3, 2018, 12:29 PM

8. Lasers Reveal a Maya Civilization So Dense It Blew Experts Minds


By JACEY FORTIN
FEB. 3, 2018




Tikal, home to temples and palaces, is one of the best known Maya sites in northern Guatemala. 

Credit Justin Lane for The New York Times

They were hidden there, all this time, under the cover of tree canopies in the jungles of northern Guatemala: tens of thousands of structures built by the Maya over a millennium ago.

Not far from the sites tourists already know, like the towering temples of the ancient city of Tikal, laser technology has uncovered about 60,000 homes, palaces, tombs and even highways in the humid lowlands.

The findings suggested an ancient society of such density and interconnectedness that even the most experienced archaeologists were surprised.

“Everywhere that we looked, there was more settlement than we expected,” said Thomas Garrison, a National Geographic explorer and an archaeologist at Ithaca College. “We knew there was going to be more, but the scale of it really blew our minds.”

More:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/world/americas/mayan-city-discovery-laser.html

LBN:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10141978826

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Feb 3, 2018, 08:35 PM

9. Loved Tikal when we went there in 1990. Thete was no way to get there

except by rented mini van from Belize border, across rut filled road with boulder toll gates. One jungle hotel that turned off electric generator about 8PM and had no hot water. Guards with big automatic rifles and Howler monkeys outside.

You could go anywhere and climb anywhere you dared. We didn't see any other visitors the whole 10 hours we roamed around. Couple of kids sold us bottled water and showed us how to climb the highest temple (IV or V). Can't remember which, but we used ladders afixed to it to reach the very top. Looks like the one on far left of picture.

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