A laser survey of 2,100 square kilometres of Guatemala’s jungles uncovered the hidden ruins of a complex and advanced Maya civilization that used a network of roads to connect more than 60,000 homes, temples and a fortress.
A group of archeologists and researchers studying ancient Maya used LIDAR technology to reveal the secrets of the civilization hidden within the thick jungle canopy.
Flying above the jungle in a plane, the group used the technology to bounce thousands of pulsing lasers toward the jungle vegetation and the ground. When they hit an object, the laser beams reflect back and begin to map the area. It took two weeks for the plane to map out the region in July 2016, but it was only in January 2017 that Ithaca College archeologist Thomas Garrison was finally able to see the images.
“From the first glimpses, we knew we were dealing with things that would change our …
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