You may know the Ancient Maya people for their hieroglyphic script and as those who sacrificed their peoples for the gods, but you may not know how massive their civilization actually was. No one knew.

Until now, researchers have found more than 60,000 hidden Maya ruins, including houses, highways, palaces, and other human-made features, in a major archaeological breakthrough that increases their Mayan population estimate from two million to 20 million inhabitants during the Meso-American civilization’s peak.

LiDAR Technology

All thanks to a new technology called LiDAR (short for Light Detection and Ranging) which is revolutionizing archaeology and rewriting Mayan history. This new laser technology digitally removes the forest canopy by emitting pulsing lasers to the earth’s floor and measuring the distance differences in laser return times to make digital 3-D representations. Amazing!

LiDAR has mapped more than 800 square miles of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in the Petén region of Guatemala, producing the largest LiDAR data set ever obtained for archaeological research, and resulting in the discovery of raised highways connecting city centers. As well as, intricate water systems perhaps to support feeding masses of workers who were ordered by the Snake Kings to reshape the landscape.


This survey is the first phase of the PACUNAM LiDAR Initiative, a three-year project that will map more than 5,000 square miles (14,000 square kilometers) of Guatemala’s lowlands.

If you want to dig deeper, I highly suggest you read this by BBC and watch National Geographic’s The Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next Post

What I'm Listening To: February 2018

Sat Feb 17 , 2018
<div class="at-above-post addthis_tool" data-url=""></div>Happy 2018! I haven’t done a playlist in a while, but with my new room setup, I have been listening to more music and practicing […]<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url=""></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->