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Laser scanning reveals 'lost' ancient Mexican city 'had as many buildings as Manhattan'
by Nicola Davis in Austin, Texas
The Guardian Translate This Article
15 February 2018
On 15 February 2018 The Guardian reported:
Archaeology might evoke thoughts of intrepid explorers and painstaking digging, but in fact researchers say it is a high-tech laser mapping technique that is rewriting the textbooks at an unprecedented rate. The approach, known as light detection and ranging scanning (lidar) involves directing a rapid succession of laser pulses at the ground from an aircraft. Now, researchers have used the technique to reveal the full extent of an ancient city in western Mexico, about a half an hour's drive from Morelia, built by rivals to the Aztecs.
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'To think that this massive city existed in the heartland of Mexico for all this time and nobody knew it was there is kind of amazing,' said Chris Fisher, an archaeologist at Colorado State University who is presenting the latest findings from the study at the conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas, this week.
While less well known than the Aztecs, the Purepecha were a major civilisation in central Mexico in the early 16th century, before Europeans arrived and wreaked havoc through war and disease. Purepecha cities included an imperial capital called Tzintzuntzan that lies on the edge of Lake Patzcuaro in western Mexico, an area in which modern Purepecha communities still live. . . .
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To read related article click Into the light: how lidar is replacing radar as the archaeologist's map tool of choice
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