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Thu Sep 27, 2018, 10:48 PM

Scientists uncover tens of thousands of ancient Mayan structures that could change our understanding

New findings uncover the mysterious lives of millions of people

Andrew Griffin @_andrew_griffin
3 hours ago

Scientists have uncovered tens of thousands of Mayan structures, potentially changing our understanding of the ancient civilisation.

The newly found evidence gives an insight into the lives of millions of people that have remained largely mysterious until today.

It was discovered using high-tech Lidar technology, which uses pulses of laser light to map land cover and topography in 3-D. That land is usually covered in dense woodland, making surveys of the area difficult.

The new research, according to the scientists behind it, gives an understanding of the area with "unprecedented scope" that "compels" a re-evaluation of our understanding of Mayan culture.


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Reply Scientists uncover tens of thousands of ancient Mayan structures that could change our understanding (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 2018 OP
Judi Lynn Sep 2018 #1
Judi Lynn Sep 2018 #2
Judi Lynn Oct 2018 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 11:04 PM

1. The Maya Civilisation Was Far More Complex Than We Thought, Major Discovery Has Revealed

The Maya Civilisation Was Far More Complex Than We Thought, Major Discovery Has Revealed
"Oh wow, we totally missed that."

28 SEP 2018

In the autumn of 1929, Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her husband Charles flew across the Yucatán Peninsula. With Charles at the controls, Anne snapped photographs of the jungles just below.

She wrote in her journal of Maya structures obscured by large humps of vegetation. A bright stone wall peeked through the leaves, "unspeakably alone and majestic and desolate - the mark of a great civilization gone."

Nearly a century later, surveyors once again took flight over the ancient Maya empire, and mapped the Guatemala forests with lasers.

The 2016 survey, whose first results were published this week in the journal Science, comprises a dozen plots covering 830 square miles, an area larger than the island of Maui. It is the largest such survey of the Maya region, ever.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 07:51 PM

2. Hidden Maya Civilization Revealed Beneath Guatemala's Jungle Canopy

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | September 29, 2018 09:19am ET

More than 61,000 ancient Maya structures — from large pyramids to single houses — were lurking beneath the dense jungle canopy in Guatemala, revealing clues about the ancient culture's farming practices, infrastructure, politics and economy, a new aerial survey has revealed.

The Guatemalan jungle is thick and challenging to explore, so researchers mapped the terrain with the help of a technology known as light detection and ranging, or lidar. The lidar images were captured during aerial surveys of the Maya lowland, a region spanning more than 810 square miles (2,100 square kilometers). [See Photos from the Maya Lidar survey]

"Since lidar technology is able to pierce through thick forest canopy and map features on the Earth's surface, it can be used to produce ground maps that enable us to identify human-made features on the ground, such as walls, roads or buildings," Marcello Canuto, director of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University in New Orleans, said in a statement.

The aerial lidar survey covered 12 separate areas in Petén, Guatemala, and included both rural and urban Maya settlements. After analyzing the images — which included isolated houses, large palaces, ceremonial centers and pyramids — the researchers determined that up to 11 million people lived in the Maya lowlands during the late Classic period, from A.D. 650 to 800. This number is consistent with previous calculations, the researchers noted in the study, which was published online Friday (Sept. 28) in the journal Science.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2018, 11:29 PM

3. Jungle-penetrating Lidar sheds light on ancient Maya structures


Lidar or 3D laser scanning provides a powerful technique for three-dimensional mapping of topographic features. It is proving to be a valuable tool in archaeology, particularly where the remains of structures may be hidden beneath forest canopies.

Two Tulane researchers, Marcello A. Canuto and Francisco Estrada-Belli, were part of a team of researchers, including assistant professor of anthropology Thomas Garrison at Ithaca College and other scholars who made the discovery in the Petén forest of Guatemala, originally announced in February 2018.

The discovery in the Petén forest includes more than 60,000 structures, including isolated houses, large palaces, ceremonial centers, and pyramids. The jungle area in the northern Petén province of Guatemala is where Tikal (tee-KAL), an ancient Maya city is located.

Temple 5C-54 (the Lost World Pyramid), part of a large E-Group complex dating to the
Preclassic. Tikal, Peten, Guatemala. Restored west face.
Simon Burchell

Tikal was an important and influential city during the heyday of the Maya Empire (1000 BCE-1500 CE). Archaeologists first began exploring the Petén forest in the late 19th century, and a number of structures have been excavated, including the Plaza of Seven Temples, the Palace at the Central Acropolis and the Lost World complex.


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