Thursday, January 27

Mexico: more than 500 ceremonial sites found with lasers | Digital Trends Spanish

A new investigation uncovered nearly 500 ceremonial sites in southern Mexico. The find was made possible by airborne laser mapping.

The researchers estimate that the newly discovered sites date back at least 2,500 years and would have belonged to the Olmec and Mayan civilizations.

The team was led by the University of Arizona from where it has been pointed out that this discovery could modify the theories about the origins of Mesoamerican civilization.

Takeshi inomata

This new finding is related to the one made last year, when in the state of Tabasco the site of the largest and oldest Mayan culture known as Aguada Fénix was discovered by the same team of researchers.

These “new” ceremonial sites would be smaller and it is thought that they could have been erected between 1100 BC and 400 BC. They are found in a wide area in the present states of Tabasco and Veracruz.

Researchers believe that these places were used as ceremonial spaces, thus allowing people to congregate for ritual purposes. Many of the sites appeared to be oriented towards sunrise on certain dates.

An aerial lidar, which is a laser mapping technology, was used to find the site. “Until a few years ago it was unthinkable to study such a large area. Publicly available lidar is transforming archeology, ”says Takeshi Inomata, author of the new study.

This technique is capable of penetrating the undergrowth of trees and shows three-dimensional forms of archaeological features hidden under vegetation.

The data were also obtained in conjunction with the Mexican government organization of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.

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