The Mayan Civilization, which is often brought up every time predictions of doom by ancient civilizations are discussed, is one of the oldest civilizations of the South American continent. While so many Mayan structures have been discovered over the years, a recent discovery is now being termed as a ‘game changer’ as it gives a much better detail about the civilization.
Over 60,000 new Mayan civilization structures have been found in Guatemalan forests. These structures were found using laser technologies. Guatemala’s Mayan Heritage and Nature Foundation, which has been teaming up with a number of US and Europe based archaeologists officially announced these discoveries.
These new structures are spread all across the forests and are actually remnants of Mayan cities. Archaeologists involved in this project have been surprised with this massive discovery as this gives a whole new insight into the way we know Mayan civilizations to be. Based on their research, it appears that the population was much more than previously imagined to be, perhaps over 10 million.
This discovery was made with the help of the LiDAR technology, which stands for Light Detection And Ranging. Multiple rounds of these lasers were fired over the Guatemalan forests using airplanes. This is the biggest survey ever conducted using the LiDAR technology and the results have been quite impressive as well!
“This is a game changer,” says Thomas Garrison, an archaeologist at Ithaca College who is one of the leaders of the project. It changes “the base level at which we do Maya archaeology. As it flies the laser pulses hundreds of thousands of times per second and every time one of those lasers hits a point of resistance it stops and sends back a measurement to the plane.”
LiDAR technology is quite an incredible technology for archaeology, as traditionally, this kind of a mapping was almost always done manually with groups of archaeologists covering the entire areas on foot and measuring structures manually.