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05 February 2018, 02:59 | Bernice Figueroa
Enormous Ancient City Uncovered by Lasers in Guatemalan Jungle
"There are entire cities we didn't know about now showing up in the survey data", archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli.
This new historical timeline of the Mayan civilization illustrates our lack of a complete knowledge base of our shared past and confirms suspicions by many contemporary researches that our Earth is older and stranger than often believed. Their findings show that the region's pre-Columbian civilization was "far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed", according to National Geographic. The technology found that the city was also much bigger than what they previously thought. Another discovery was a complex network of raised highways linking all the Maya cities in the area.
The discovery was made with the use of LiDAR laser technology to disseminate ancient Mayan cities in Central America. The flow of water was meticulously planned and controlled via canals, dikes, and reservoirs.
The discovery was made using infrared laser mapping technology LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), which penetrates through forests on the surface to create detailed aerial images that exposed the ruins.
The method has been used elsewhere, including around the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia.
The research, led by the PACUNAM Foundation -a Guatemalan non-profit heritage organisation - suggests an advanced civilisation of 10-15 million people lived in the region at its peak 1,200 years ago.
Garrison serves as one of the archaeology advisors to the project, and was fundamental in lobbying for the survey, which is now the single largest ever conducted in the field of Mesoamerican archaeology.
The awesome discovery is only part of a larger, three-year LiDAR initiative with PACUNAM which plans to map over 5,000 square miles (12,900 sq km) of the country's lowlands.
Stephen Houston, Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology at Brown University, called the magnitude of the recent survey "breathtaking" and said that the images produced "did bring tears to my eyes". He believes the scale and population density has been "grossly underestimated and could in fact be three or four times greater than previously thought". Now, technology that allows for digital deforestation has uncovered thousands of new Maya structures previously undetected beneath smothering vegetation.
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