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Scientists Discover Ancient Mayan "Megalopolis" Below Guatemalan Jungle!

Goldhedge

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Yes, Virginia... we're not the first people to ever live here....





Scientists Discover Ancient Mayan "Megalopolis" Below Guatemalan Jungle!

sunsquall
A vast, interconnected network of ancient cities was home to millions more people than previously thought.


A high-tech aerial mapping technique uncovered previously undetected Mayan buildings in the jungle of Guatemala.
Photograph: Canuto and Auld-Thomas/AP

Researchers using a high-tech aerial mapping technique have found tens of thousands of previously undetected Mayan houses, buildings, defense works and pyramids in the dense jungle of Guatemala’s Peten region, suggesting that millions more people lived there than previously thought.

The study estimates that roughly 10 million people may have lived within the Maya Lowlands, meaning that kind of massive food production might have been needed.

“That is two to three times more [inhabitants] than people were saying there were,” said Marcello A Canuto, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University.

The images revealed that the Mayans altered the landscape in a much broader way than previously thought; in some areas, 95% of available land was cultivated.

“Their agriculture is much more intensive and therefore sustainable than we thought, and they were cultivating every inch of the land,” said Francisco Estrada-Belli, a research assistant professor at Tulane University, noting the ancient Mayas partly drained swampy areas that haven’t been considered worth farming since.


COURTESY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The extensive defensive fences, ditch-and-rampart systems and irrigation canals suggest a highly organised workforce.

“There’s state involvement here, because we see large canals being dug that are re-directing natural water flows,” said Thomas Garrison, assistant professor of anthropology at Ithaca College in New York.

The 810 square miles (2,100 square kilometers) of mapping done vastly expands the area that was intensively occupied by the Maya, whose culture flourished between roughly 1,000 BC and 900 AD. Their descendants still live in the region.

The mapping detected about 60,000 individual structures, including four major Mayan ceremonial centres with plazas and pyramids.

Garrison said that this year he went to the field with the Lidar data to look for one of the roads revealed. “I found it, but if I had not had the Lidar and known that that’s what it was, I would have walked right over it, because of how dense the jungle is.”


Laser technology known as LiDAR digitally removes the forest canopy to reveal ancient ruins below, showing that Maya cities such as Tikal were much larger than ground-based research had suggested.
COURTESY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

He noted that unlike some other ancient cultures, whose fields, roads and outbuildings have been destroyed by subsequent generations of farming, the jungle grew over abandoned Maya fields and structures, both hiding and preserving them.

“The jungle, which has hindered us in our discovery efforts for so long, has actually worked as this great preservative tool of the impact the culture had across the landscape,” noted Garrison, who worked on the project and specialises in the city of El Zotz, near Tikal.


Laser scans revealed more than 60,000 previously unknown Maya structures that were part of a vast network of cities, fortifications, farms, and highways.
COURTESY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Lidar revealed a previously undetected structure between the two sites that Garrison says “can’t be called anything other than a Maya fortress”.

“It’s this hilltop citadel that has these ditch and rampart systems ... when I went there, one of these things [was] nine meters tall,” he noted.

In a way, the structures were hiding in plain sight.


The unaided eye sees only jungle and an overgrown mound, but LiDAR and augmented reality software reveal an ancient Maya pyramid.
COURTESY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC


The unaided eye sees only jungle and an overgrown mound, but LiDAR and augmented reality software reveal an ancient Maya pyramid.
COURTESY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC


Hidden deep in the jungle, the newly-discovered pyramid rises some seven stories high but is nearly invisible to the naked eye.
PHOTOGRAPH BY WILD BLUE MEDIA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

“As soon as we saw this we all felt a little sheepish,” said Canuto said of the Lidar images, “because these were things that we had been walking over all the time.”

Read More Here: https://www.theguardian.com/science...city-hidden-under-guatemalan-jungle?CMP=fb_gu

Read More Here: https://news.nationalgeographic.com...lidarscans&utm_campaign=Content&sf181008746=1
 

spinalcracker

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That's some beautiful revelations of truth.
The wanton destruction of antiquities in Mesopotamia are criminal. Someone does not want the peasants to know our origins.
Why?
Its a Great Mystery to me.
I hope central and South American antiquities will be safe from the demons who want the historical evidence of our origins destroyed.
 

the_shootist

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Liberalism destroyed the Mayans like it's destroying today's civilization
 

mayhem

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They need to spray a few square kilometers with Agent Orange and send in the mexicans to clear out the dead vegetation. The Guats could have a nice tourist destination with a few hotels and a Starbucks.
And with the latest Cancer clinics, radiation therapy right close by. Mericans would swarm there for treatment while the locals die from the effects of AO.
 

Agavegirl1

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I have visited 4 Maya excavation sites in Belize and it is fascinating. You can climb up to the top of many of the pyramids. Looking around, you see vegetation covered hills all around you and realizing they are un-excavated buildings can overwhelm. Belize doesn't have a huge budget. There are several US Universities and British Universities and archeology groups working on them ever so slowly. There is so little uncovered compared to what is actually there but what you can see is fascinating. I have been wanting to do the overnight tour to Tikal but it never seems to fit into my schedule when there. I have been to Belize 26 times and have a bunch of books I bought there. The Maya are still around. They speak two or three dialects of Mayan in the country. Just an FYI that I learned... the word "Mayan" is only used to refer to the language. It is not the possessive for Maya. Example: "I am going to visit the Maya ruin of Lamanaii." or "The most common dialect of Mayan in the district is Q'eqchi'" (that is pronounced "ketchi" BTW).

I first learned about LiDar on a National Geographic or Science channel show and it was recently brought up by one of our tour guides. I also worry that our origins are being destroyed.

Cool information @Goldhedge
 

gringott

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Back in the early '80s I rode my motorcycle from Belize into the Petan jungle, visiting Tikal along the way. Tikal was amazing. Note at that time there were a lot of local workers on scaffolding repairing the pyramids and other structures there. Just like Copan if you stepped off into the jungle you would easily find more stuff grown over and not yet exposed. I have visited most of the sites in the Yucatan, many in Guatemala and Honduras. Place I lived at near Tulum [Mayan site build on the coast with beach access] had it's own Mayan ruin [coast watching / nagivation lighting site] and a fresh water dual level tub carved out of the raw cliff face stone, only God knows how old it was.