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Maya finds shed new light on lost civilization

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Xiomara
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« on: February 04, 2018, 05:27:12 pm »

Where there is darkness...

The research – using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology that beamed  light from aerial lasers to construct a survey of buried structures – found a pyramid almost 100 feet (30 meters) in height.

It had previously been thought to be a small mountain in the heart of the ancient Maya city of Tikal, a major tourist destination in northeastern Guatemala.

"Now it is no longer necessary to cut through the jungle to see what's under it," said Canuto.

A series of pits and a 14 kilometer-long wall were also discovered in Tikal.

"The fortified structures and large causeways reveal modifications to the natural landscape made by the Maya on a previously unimaginable scale," said Francisco Estrada-Belli of Tulane University.

A lost civilization

The Maya civilization was one of the most advanced to arise in Mesoamerica, which spread throughout present-day Central America and southern Mexico.

The earliest Maya settlements were built in about 1,000 B.C. and most major Maya cities had fallen into ruin by about 900 A.D. The civilization reached its peak in what is present-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of Belize, El Salvador and Honduras between 250 and 950 B.C.

jbh (Reuters, AFP)
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