Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Lidar' Uncovers Mayan City in Mexico

'Lidar' in the news again -- this time, aiding the discovery of unexplored Mayan ruins in Mexico.

From The Latin American Herald Tribune
June 19,2013

Vast Mayan City Discovered in Southeast Mexico Jungle

MEXICO CITY – Archaeologists have discovered a previously unknown Mayan city in the southeastern state of Campeche, which for its vast extension and characteristics is believed to have been a seat of government some 1,400 years ago, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said.

A team of experts headed by Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Sprajc has christened the site Chactun.

“It is one of the largest sites in the Central Lowlands, comparable in its extent and the magnitude of its buildings with Becan, Nadzcaan and El Palmar in Campeche”, Sprajc said in a statement released by INAH.

The complex covers more than 22 hectares (54 acres).

Based on the number of monuments, at least ten of them with inscriptions, the city is believed to have been the seat of government for a extensive area during the period of 600-900 A.D., the researcher said.

The INAH-backed exploration is financed by the National Geographic Society and two private companies: Austria’s Villas and Slovenia’s Ars Longa.

Down through the centuries, Chactun remained hidden in the jungle on the north of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. According to Sprajc, it forms part of an area covering more than 3,000 sq. meters (1,150 sq. miles) that has remained a “total blank” on the Mayan archaeological map.

The millennial metropolis is one of the nearly 80 sites detected by the Southeast Campeche Archaeological Recognition Project, launched in 1996. EFE

At Archaeology Magazine
June 19, 2013

Maya City Discovered in Mexico

CAMPECHE, MEXICO—A large Maya city dubbed ChactĂșn, or Red Stone, has been discovered in the jungles of Mexico’s Central Lowlands, in an area once used by loggers, but only recently explored by archaeologists equipped with aerial photographs and images created with LIDAR. The size of the city and its pyramids, palaces, ball courts, and plazas suggest that it was a long-term seat of government some 1,400 years ago. “It is one of the largest sites in the Central Lowlands, comparable in its extent and the magnitude of its buildings with Becan, Nadzcaan, and El Palmar in Campeche,” explained Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Sprajc. The name of a ruler, K’inich B’ahlam, has been found carved on one of the ten stelae unearthed so far at the site. Archaeologists suspect that ChactĂșn will help them understand the relationships between other nearby Maya cities.

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