Ancient Mayan city ‘impossible to find’ has been discovered in jungle

Turns out these people really liked to play ball sports
  • An ancient Mayan city has been discovered in the Guatemalan jungle
  • The jungle is incredibly dense, making it impossible for humans to access it
  • Now, thanks to LiDAR technology, a massive breakthrough has been made

Published on May 24, 2024 at 2:57PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 24, 2024 at 6:30PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

Researchers have unearthed a long-lost Mayan city.

Some of the settlements here are around 3,000 years old.

Because it’s surrounded by dense jungle, the city has been impossible for scientists and researchers to access.

But they’ve just made a huge breakthrough, thanks to the same technology that helps humanoid robots not bump into things.

READ MORE: The truth about mysterious Bermuda Triangle where planes and ships ‘disappear’

The Mayan civilization is known for its incredible architectural feats, building complicated temples and pyramids without modern tools.

Their structural genius has left a lasting impact on the modern world, even inspiring Dubai’s Ziggurat Pyramid which will house one million people.

The decline of the Mayan civilization began around 800-900 AD, and since then, we have relied on ruins to learn about this advanced ancient society.

Archaeologists have been searching for a known Mayan city buried in the heart of a Guatemalan jungle for years.

The jungle is extremely dense, and until now has been impossible to penetrate.

However, huge progress has been made thanks to light detection and ranging technology (LiDAR).

This is the same technology that helps the world’s fastest humanoid robot, Unitree’s H1, identify objects around it.

LiDAR works by emitting laser pulses that bounce back after hitting a surface.

By calculating the time it takes for the pulse to bounce back, a 3D map can be created.

Archaeologists have used aerial surveys to perform LiDAR scans of the forest, with great success.

They’ve identified about 417 ancient villages, towns and cities, as well as 100 miles of roadway.

What makes this so exciting is what it reveals about the Mayan people of this area.

It’s clear this was a sophisticated society with a complex economy and rich culture.

The report on this discovery suggests that an area this complicated would have needed thousands of workers and specialists, from architects to law enforcement.

Alongside practical features like reservoirs and raised causeways, at least 30 ballcourts were also found where the popular ballgame of the time was played.

Now the archaeologists will use LiDAR to get an even clearer view of each settlement in this Mayan city.

Having identified 964 settlements, they’re going to be pretty busy.

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