Lasers Reveal 60,000 Ancient Maya Structures in Guatemala - HISTORY
The largest-ever survey of a region from the Maya civilization has located over 60,000 previously unknown structures in northern Guatemala. The survey, conducted with the help of lasers, challenges long-held assumptions that this area was poorly connected and sparsely populated.
The structures researchers identified include farms, houses and defensive fortifications, as well as 60 miles of causeways, roads and canals connecting large cities across the civilization’s central lowlands. Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist who uses satellite technology, had this reaction on Twitter when preliminary images became public: “This is HOLY [expletive] territory.” (Parcak was not involved with this study).
The ancient Maya civilization stretched from southern Mexico down to Guatemala and Belize, flourishing between 1000 B.C. and 1500 A.D. The recent study focused on 830 square miles of the #Maya Biosphere Reserve in Petén, #Guatemala. Scientists used a laser technology called #lidar, or light detection and ranging, to penetrate the thick tree canopies in the area and discover archaeological remains beneath them.