Lasers Reveal a Maya Civilization So Dense It Blew Experts’ Minds

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Lasers Reveal a Maya Civilization So Dense It Blew Experts’ Minds
“We need to marry the interest in pursuing scientific stories with our interest in finding a sustainable model for the area.”
Ms. Hernandez began planning the project in 2015 with archaeologists like Marcello
Canuto, director of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University.
“And what you thought was this massively understood, studied civilization is all of a sudden brand new again.”
The lasers are only the first step, he added, noting
that he and archaeologists still had to trek through jungles to verify the data while contending with thick undergrowth, poisonous snakes, swarms of killer bees and the odd scorpion.
And when Dr. Canuto and his students finally saw the preliminary data about a year ago, “We could not peel our eyes off the T. V.
“It’s being blind, and then being able to see.”
The Maya culture was known for its sophisticated approach to agriculture, arts and astronomy.
Dr. Davies was not involved in the lidar project but considered it “really big, sensational news.” She said
the data should encourage people not only to re-evaluate Maya civilization, but also to learn from it
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.


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