News ID: 231952
Published: 0926 GMT September 28, 2018

Scientists uncover ancient Mayan structures that could change our understanding of ancient civilization

Scientists uncover ancient Mayan structures that could change our understanding of ancient civilization
Guatemalan natives play ‘Chajchaay’, an ancient Mayan ball game, at the central square of Aguilares, 36km north of San Salvador, El Salvador on July 8, 2016. (MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Scientists have uncovered tens of thousands of Mayan structures, potentially changing our understanding of the ancient civilization.

The newly found evidence gives an insight into the lives of millions of people that have remained largely mysterious until today, independent.co.uk wrote.

It was discovered using high-tech Lidar technology, which uses pulses of laser light to map land cover and topography in 3D. That land is usually covered in dense woodland, making surveys of the area difficult.

The new research, according to the scientists behind it, gives an understanding of the area with ‘unprecedented scope’ that ‘compels’ a re-evaluation of our understanding of Mayan culture.

The data seems to suggest, for instance, that more than 11 million people lived throughout the Maya Lowlands during the Late Classic Period, nearly 3,000 years ago. And it gives some clue about how they lived.

That huge number of people would need some degree of agricultural intensification to be able to sustain themselves. The data seems to show that the wetlands throughout the region were heavily modified for agricultural use.

And the new findings show that there was a large-scale network of roads that connected cities and towns that were distant from each other. Some of those roadways were heavily fortified, the authors found to their surprise.

That substantial investment shows not only how connected Mayan cities were, but also the scale of Mayan warfare.

The new research, which was funded by the Guatemalan government, was published in Science.

                                                                   

   
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