Laser scanning tech uncovers huge network of ancient Maya farms

Euronews | Oct 12, 2019 at 10:30 AM
  • Deep within a rainforest in Belize, scientists using lasers beamed from an airplane to peer beneath the dense foliage have discovered evidence of a vast network of ancient Maya farms that date back thousands of years.
  • The study demonstrates the benefits of combining high-tech tools like lidar with traditional archaeological practices, according to Katharine Johnson, a University of Connecticut geographer who has used airborne lidar to unearth remains of historic sites hidden beneath dense forests in New England.
  • Through their farming practices, which included burning the fields before planting, the Maya likely contributed to a slight regional rise in atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.