Lasers in the Jungle

Attendees at USFUVG’s October 2018 reception at the Organization of American States in Washington DC heard about a revolutionary technology known as Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) that has revolutionized Maya archeology.  Revealing pre-Columbian civilization to be far more complex and interconnected than previously thought, Lidar shoots lasers down from planes to pierce the thick foliage and paint a 3-D picture of the ground below. Structures long lost to this jungle are revealed in the data.

UVG is part of the largest Lidar survey project in the Maya area, Dr. Tomás Barrientos, Chair of UVG’s Department of Archaeology and the Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Antropológicas (Center of Archaeological and Anthropological Studies) and Dr. Marcello Canuto, a USFUVG board member and Director of Tulane’s Middle America Research Center, led a virtual visit to their archeological site deep in the Petén jungle, where they shared their discoveries and showed how UVG is training its students in the digital technologies of modern 21st century archeology.