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The city revealed by laser technology in the Guatemala department of Petén.
The city revealed by laser technology in the Guatemala department of Petén. EFE
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Hidden Maya metropolis discovered in Guatemala

Around 60,000 buildings have been found under the jungle floor thanks to laser technology

  • A group of archeologists have discovered thousands of Mayan buildings – including palaces and pyramids – that have been hidden for centuries under the Guatemalan jungle, in the department of Petén. The find was made possible thanks to revolutionary laser technology that emits rays which penetrate the forest floor to reveal changes in the ground contours.
    1A group of archeologists have discovered thousands of Mayan buildings – including palaces and pyramids – that have been hidden for centuries under the Guatemalan jungle, in the department of Petén. The find was made possible thanks to revolutionary laser technology that emits rays which penetrate the forest floor to reveal changes in the ground contours. EFE
  • Houses, defensive structures, tombs and even a 30-meter-tall pyramid – which until now was believed to be a small mountain – are some of the 60,000 structures to be discovered.
    2Houses, defensive structures, tombs and even a 30-meter-tall pyramid – which until now was believed to be a small mountain – are some of the 60,000 structures to be discovered. EFE
  • A 14-kilometer wall has also been found near the ancient city of Tikal, the archeological ruins of one of the most important Mayan settlements.  After the disappearance of the Mayan civilization, researchers say the city was overtaken by the jungle and hidden under the soil and foliage for years.
    3A 14-kilometer wall has also been found near the ancient city of Tikal, the archeological ruins of one of the most important Mayan settlements. After the disappearance of the Mayan civilization, researchers say the city was overtaken by the jungle and hidden under the soil and foliage for years.
  • The buildings uncovered form part of dozens of cities. The scale of the discovery has led researchers to believe that there could have been as many as 10 million Mayan people, a figure that is much higher than previous estimates.
    4The buildings uncovered form part of dozens of cities. The scale of the discovery has led researchers to believe that there could have been as many as 10 million Mayan people, a figure that is much higher than previous estimates. EFE
  • As well as urban centers, researchers have found evidence of extensive farmland that could have occupied as much as 95% of the available land.
    5As well as urban centers, researchers have found evidence of extensive farmland that could have occupied as much as 95% of the available land. EFE
  • The discovery was made possible thanks to laser LiDi technology. The laser emits pulses of light which bounce off underground structures to reveal the shape of what is under the surface. This technology, combined with GPS positioning, has allowed researchers to create 3D maps of the metropolis without damaging the jungle.
    6The discovery was made possible thanks to laser LiDi technology. The laser emits pulses of light which bounce off underground structures to reveal the shape of what is under the surface. This technology, combined with GPS positioning, has allowed researchers to create 3D maps of the metropolis without damaging the jungle. EFE