Researchers have uncovered more than 60,000 structures, including pyramids, palaces and causeways through the power of ground-penetrating laser technology.
The breakthrough laser technology, dubbed LiDAR (light detection and ranging), was used to map 2,100 square kilometers of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in the Peten region of Guatemala and revealed a huge interconnected network of ancient cities with their own highways and complex irrigation and terracing systems. The discovery was made possible by the researchers removing the tree canopy from aerial images of the landscape.
“The LiDAR images make it clear that this entire region was a settlement system whose scale and population density had been grossly underestimated,” said Thomas Garrison, an Ithaca College archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer who took part in the project.
This digital 3D image