Lidar Reveals Hundreds of Lost Maya and Olmec Ruins


Aircraft-operated Lidar Recent research has uncovered hundreds of ancient Maya and Olmec sites that have been lost in southern Mexico. The 32,800-square-mile area was surveyed by the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geográfia, which made the data more accessible. University of Arizona archaeologist Takeshi Inomata and colleagues surveyed the site, which runs between Olmec on the Bay of Campeche and west of the Maya Lowlands north of the Guatemalan border, discovered 478 artifacts hidden beneath. the plants were either too big to be detected from the ground.

Inomata recalls: “It was impossible to study in such a large area until just a few years ago. “Public lida is undermining archeology. ”

Over the past few years, lidar research has revealed tens of thousands of irrigation canals, roads, and fences around the Maya region, which now crosses the borders of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. Infrared legs can be entered into thick sheets to measure ground height, which often show items such as long-abandoned canals or plazas. The results showed that the Maya development was considerable, and there are more people than we ever thought possible.

The recent research It appears that the development of the Maya may have been influenced by the ancient Olmec, which flourished along the coast of southern Mexico from about 1500 BC to 400 BC.

Cosmological Construction

The oldest Maya monument is the largest; Some 3,000 years ago, a 1.4-mile-long[1.4 km]dirt tower was built in the center of the Aguada Fenix, near the border between what is now Mexico and Guatemala. And 478 newly acquired sites with surrounding areas share essentials and features such as Aguada Fenix, on a smaller scale. They are built around square squares, with rows of earthen towers, where large groups of people would gather to perform rituals.

Inomata and colleagues suggest that the site was probably built hundreds of years between 1100 BC (about the same time as Aguada Fenix) and 400 BC. Their construction was probably the work of various groups of people who shared cultural ideas, such as the construction of a ceremony and the importance of other days. In most places, where distance is permitted, meeting places with platform lines are linked to point out where the sun rises on certain days of the year.

“This means that they represent the ideas of nature through the venue,” Inomata said. “In these places, people gathered according to the traditional calendar.” The dates vary, but all appear to correspond to May 10, a solar eclipse, the beginning of the rainy season and the planting of corn. Many 478 festival centers report that the sun rises 40, 80, or 100 days in advance.

Lidar image of San Lorenzo (left) and Aguada Fenix ​​(right) on the same scale. Both show a rectangular plaza with 20 columns.

Photo: Takeshi Inomata by Frenandez Diaz



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