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Earth Science

Lidar Finds Overgrown Maya Pyramids 169

AlejoHausner writes "A team of archaeologists scanned the jungle of Belize with lidar. Although most of the reflections came from the jungle canopy, some light reflected off the ground surface. Using this, suddenly hidden pyramids, agricultural terraces, and ancient roads are revealed, at 6-inch resolution. The data allowed the archaeologists to bolster their theory that the ancient city of Caracol covered more than 70 square miles of urban sprawl and supported a population of over 115,000."
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Lidar Finds Overgrown Maya Pyramids

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  • by biryokumaru ( 822262 ) <> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @01:31PM (#32171778)
    Meh, I think people are too squishy. They'd probably blend in with plants and stuff. Aircraft should work, though.
  • Re:Cool. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by c4tp ( 526292 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:15PM (#32172462) Journal
    I was about to say, if Indiana Jones had LIDAR, those movies would be a lot shorter.
  • by Mabbo ( 1337229 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:20PM (#32172536)
    Processing the data takes a while- today. In the 80's, MP3 compression was good, but took too long to process for consumer products.
  • Re:Cool. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sleepy ( 4551 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @03:45PM (#32173570) Homepage

    It would be more accurate to say your history books are full of mistruths, but if you want examples, just pick nearly any thing from a high school history book... and then REALLY research it.

    1) We're all told that Benedict Arnold was simply a traitor to the American Revolution... but not that he was mistreated prior to that. (note: I'm not drawing judgment, these are simply facts).
    2) We're all told that the "Americas" were sparsely populated by a few tens of thousands - not millions - of "natives". The "Trail of Tears" gets about 1/2 page coverage - scant compared to other 19th and 10th century genocides..
    3) General Custer died a hero, and was NOT a coward who engaged in genocidal killings of women and infants.
    4) Jesus was blonde, blue-eyed, and never took a wife

    I'm just rattling off 4 I could think of inside of a few seconds.

    (And to any perceived anti-US bias comments, it's untrue to suggest that. I happen to be most familiar with my own culture and therefore capable of poking holes in the lies it teaches. Every culture is guilty of this, but I can't be expected to have the same level of familiarity with those other cultures. Whatever, most people get it right?)

  • Re:Cool. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MontyApollo ( 849862 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @04:49PM (#32174622)

    I have problem with people making statements about how the pyramids could not be built with the technology available. So called crop circle experts said there was no way humans could be behind crop circles, until they were shown video of two retired guys and a wood plank in fact doing it. People used to talk about how it was scientifically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, but yet it does.

    I think some people think too highly of their ability to figure things out, and they don't give other people enough credit for their ingenuity.

  • by SteveFoerster ( 136027 ) <steve&stevefoerster,com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:54PM (#32175548) Homepage

    It's amazing what names people will come up with to get a cool sounding acronym....

  • Re:Cool. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @12:11AM (#32178818) Journal

    Don't you think the difference between poured concrete and quarried stone can be discerned by modern archeologists or engineers?

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.