Lasers reveal ancient Mayan cities

Sherilyn DeNucci

Laser mapping has recently revealed the construction of over 60,000 ancient Mayan cities, according to CNN.

The cities are all in Guatemala and show evidence of “agriculture, irrigation, quarries and defensive fortifications.” Researchers can also use this information to estimate the population of the ancient Maya people, which they claim to be around 10 million.

Discovering these cities was made possible by laser mapping. Lidar sensors are attached to the undersides of airplanes, and laser light is emitted, making the cities visible.

“This initiative is bigger than anything that has ever been done before,” co-director of the exploration, Marco Canuto, says. It is also definitely a step in the right direction for the future of excavation.