Revealing the Complexity of the Mayan Civilization – The Uses of LiDAR

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Revealing the Complexity of the Mayan Civilization – The Uses of LiDAR

The once thriving Mesoamerican civilization is widely acclaimed for its advanced language, technological and architectural skills. The mounting evidence to support such claims is in part, due to the advancements of LiDAR technology. It is now we start to see archaeology as having a direct benefit from the uses of LiDAR.

Deep in the jungles of Northern Guatemala, archaeologists have been relieving an extensive causeway road network ever since British Mayanist Ian Graham discovered them in 1967. It is, however, not until recently that researchers at the Mirador Basin Project made use of plane-mounted LiDAR to discover the full extent of these networks. The discovery was astonishing.  A total of 17 roads of 150 miles have been discovered, a task that would seem near-impossible in the time of Graham’s research due to limited technology. LiDARs ability to penetrate through the thick canopy of the jungle allows researchers to get a true depiction of the topography at the jungle floor.

This is just one of many examples of researchers and archaeologists using sophisticated LiDAR technology due to its ability to quickly and accurately get a depiction of its surroundings. GreenValley International has a plethora of products which would be suitable for such a task. Our LiAir UAV system integrates a high accuracy LiDAR sensor with advanced navigation and positioning systems (POS). It’s ability to penetrate the jungle would give the user an accurate depiction of the topography when processed through our integrated software, LiDAR360.

Archaeology is just one of many sectors benefiting from the uses of LiDAR technology. Its scope and use will continue to grow and flourish due to its multitude of uses.

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