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Lidar Finds Overgrown Maya Pyramids

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the run-but-you-can't-hide dept.

Earth 169

AlejoHausner writes "A team of archaeologists scanned the jungle of Belize with lidar. Although most of the reflections came from the jungle canopy, some light reflected off the ground surface. Using this, suddenly hidden pyramids, agricultural terraces, and ancient roads are revealed, at 6-inch resolution. The data allowed the archaeologists to bolster their theory that the ancient city of Caracol covered more than 70 square miles of urban sprawl and supported a population of over 115,000."

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Other uses for this technology (5, Interesting)

adeft (1805910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171178)

Seems like it might be useful for finding downed aircrafts and other missing objects....maybe even people?

Re:Other uses for this technology (2, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171778)

Meh, I think people are too squishy. They'd probably blend in with plants and stuff. Aircraft should work, though.

Forensic Anthropology (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171882)

If shallow graves can be told apart from the native terrain w/ Lidar over a period of 1 week, 1 month, 1 year etc, than it might work. You would pry need to do a full body farm [utk.edu] treatment on it though.

Re:Forensic Anthropology (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172548)

Assuming those lost people dug their own shallow grave...

I suspect the poster was thinking living people.

Dead people are easy to find, hell I go a whole park full of em not to far from my house.

You'd be surprised how people hate it when I play Frisbee there.

Re:Forensic Anthropology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172616)

Dead people are easy to find

Indeed. Compared to living people, dead ones don't move much.

To paraphrase a movie line (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172878)

Dead people are easy to find

"I smell dead people..."

Re:Other uses for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32171814)

Seriously? People? Unless you're talking about a herd of tens of thousands of people, this would be completely ineffective at finding people.

Do you know what LIDAR is?

Re:Other uses for this technology (5, Informative)

pyroclast (1809246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171828)

Seems like it might be useful for finding downed aircrafts and other missing objects....maybe even people?

Great thought, but the time to process lidar data takes a while. So planes and objects sure, but even the logistics to get this done takes time. Not sure about people, due to resolution over a vast area and again logistics. The bare-earth relief (which strips away a degree of vegetation) lidar offers is incredible. Cartographers and geologist have only recently really taken advantage of the technology. But in time and $, these other uses could definitely be considered, especially when resolution and processing is more developed.

Re:Other uses for this technology (2, Insightful)

Mabbo (1337229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172536)

Processing the data takes a while- today. In the 80's, MP3 compression was good, but took too long to process for consumer products.

Re:Other uses for this technology (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172952)

Which is weird seeing MP3 wasn't even a standard until 1991, and not fully finalised until 1992.

Re:Other uses for this technology (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171880)

LIDAR could be used to find Waldo and Jimmy Hoffa.

Re:Other uses for this technology (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171942)

Or somebody that found your post funny.

Re:Other uses for this technology (2, Funny)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172280)

I dont think the technology is that advanced

Re:Other uses for this technology (1)

fmoc-86 (1279012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172948)

If it did, we should dump the technology as useless.

Re:Other uses for this technology (3, Informative)

Message (303377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172292)

The summary alluded to this but mostly what you get is reflection off the canopy... when you start talking dense jungle.. triple canopy type areas then this is not going to be effective...

Re:Other uses for this technology (1, Informative)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172380)

Seems like it might be useful for finding downed aircrafts and other missing objects....maybe even people?

You could also try finding out microbes with magnifying glass. Mayan pyramids are 10 times bigger than normal humans. downed aircraft looks like lots of garbage scattered in large area.

Re:Other uses for this technology (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172518)

Seems like it might be useful for finding downed aircrafts and other missing objects....maybe even people?

You could also try finding out microbes with magnifying glass. Mayan pyramids are 10 times bigger than normal humans. downed aircraft looks like lots of garbage scattered in large area.

Only 10x bigger hell you could use this to find a Volkswagen Beetle then.

Re:Other uses for this technology (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172750)

Mayan pyramids are 10 times bigger than normal humans.

I think you are off by a few orders of magnitude.

Re:Other uses for this technology (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172990)

I think you are off by a few orders of magnitude.

Mayan. Not Egyptian. Maybe I've confused bigger pyramids with platform mounds. I imagined Mayan pyramid as artificial hill and not as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chichen-Itza_El_Castillo.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Did not read TFA, but that lidar should be set to look for surface anomalies. Maybe for hills with solid stone objects on top or for hills with four rounded corners.

Re:Other uses for this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32173884)

....maybe even people?

Before you know it, there's gonna be a dating system connected to this thing!

Cool. (5, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171822)

Now find Atlantis.

Re:Cool. (2, Insightful)

c4tp (526292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172462)

I was about to say, if Indiana Jones had LIDAR, those movies would be a lot shorter.

DOn't be stupid (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172562)

Find big foot, then Nessy and THEN Atlantis.

Re:Cool. (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172592)

Now find Atlantis.

You mock, but the discoveries of megalithic structures over the past twenty years have called into question a lot of our assumptions about the earliest civilizations with technology. There are rock carvings being discovered in the Southern part of Africa that show very advanced understanding of astronomy, geography and time measurement that appear to be over twenty thousand years old which is much, much earlier than previously thought.

If we can ever get scientists to be able to really research the pyramids and nearby structures without the dictatorial control of the Egyptian government, there is reason to believe that there are references to sophisticated understanding of astronomy going back over fifty thousand years.

When I worked at the University of Chicago, I used to hang with people from the Oriental Institute. From them, I learned just how shaky a lot of the theories regarding Early Egyptian culture really are, including but not limited to how in the hell the pyramids were built. One of the foremost Egyptologists in the world once confirmed to me that the accepted theories are clearly ridiculous, that the notion that you can drag, or roll on logs, granite blocks weighing up to 100 tons for several miles, and then erasing every sign of the way in which they were moved, is just nonsense. Further, he'd like to know, how in the hell were they able to move those stones over 100 feet in the air to place them at the top of the pile?

This gentleman, now dead, explained that Egyptology specifically, and archeology generally, are so political that any theory or work done outside the mainstream is killed before it can even be peer-reviewed. This guy, a professor emeritus at the time, told me he'd had a 20 year correspondence with crypto-archeologist Graham Hancock and he was careful to tell me that though he disagreed with most of Hancock's assertions, that some of them deserved much closer consideration. And it's not only academic politics that have shaped our "consensus" regarding those civilizations. Religious and political forces have played an even greater role in making sure that the accepted history supports certain orthodoxies.

Atlantis? Well, probably not, but once you get past 50,000 years it's not at all impossible that there was a relatively advanced civilization on this planet that subsequently disappeared. Almost every native culture on Earth has legends about a "golden age" when a more advanced civilization existed, which then disappeared during a subsequent "dark age".

Re:Cool. (2, Informative)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172764)

I'm not mocking at all. My original post was meant to be serious. It's not my fault that people thought it was funny.

Now get off your educated ass and find Atlantis, dammit.

Re:Cool. (5, Interesting)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173014)

once you get past 50,000 years it's not at all impossible that there was a relatively advanced civilization on this planet that subsequently disappeared.

You don't even have to go back that far. The Minoan people of ancient Crete were well on the way to an industrial revolution of of their own that predated that of England by a couple of thousand years. If it wasn't for an inopportune volcanic eruption which completely wiped the Minoans out back around 1400 BCE, we might have had electronic computers by Roman times and those flying cars and jet packs we all wish for by now.

Re:Cool. (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173336)

The Minoan people of ancient Crete were well on the way to an industrial revolution of of their own that predated that of England by a couple of thousand years. If it wasn't for an inopportune volcanic eruption which completely wiped the Minoans out back around 1400 BCE,

A volcano... or the horrific results of their experimentation with bio-engineering and the creation of a man-bull hybrid?!

Food for thought.

Re:Cool. (3, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173598)

Ah, so THEY are the originators of ManBearPig!

Those crazy Minoans, they got exactly what they deserved.

Re:Cool. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174104)

The Minoan people of ancient Crete were well on the way to an industrial revolution of of their own that predated that of England by a couple of thousand years. If it wasn't for an inopportune volcanic eruption which completely wiped the Minoans out back around 1400 BCE,

A volcano... or the horrific results of their experimentation with bio-engineering and the creation of a man-bull hybrid?!

Food for thought.

Indeed my friend... Indeed.

The very thought of one of those lumbering horrors once again sallying towards an unholy intercourse of man and God allows me no respite.

Though, within the recourse of our mind we might escape for moments at a time, the quickening of a doleful apocalypse is upon us, and it's name is Lazarus Debovinica: Doomsayer of the now.

Fear not for mere friends, as their suffering shall pass in a spark of agony, bodies shriveling into rounded husks of carbon. No, it is the reticent, the constantly wary who shall feel the brunt of that infernal gaze. Those well-prepared extend their lives to witness this hell. Such is the curse of we who are burdened to witness the rancor of the bull-man.

Tear your bed-cloths quickly asunder, and make of them a sack. Do not bring your family, lest they too live beyond the death of their souls and wander as hapless zombies near seas of blood.

No, it is only we, we who are burdened with this knowledge, who must walk upon the cracked remains of homes and bathhouses. Fear not now, we travel to place beyond such things.

The bull-man knows no emotion, for he is the arbiter of this intimate nightmare. His steaming ropes of sorrow will weigh upon the very depths of your compassion, and you will necessarily capitulate to the fibrous brown pyramids, his hidden masses softly murmuring with escaping gases, waiting in the deepest jungle...

Re:Cool. (1)

systemeng (998953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174430)

For Crete's sake. You would have to bring that up.

Re:Cool. (2, Funny)

Whatshisface (1203604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173360)

And we would have been only 20 years away from cold fusion and unlimited free power.

Re:Cool. (1)

bluie- (1172769) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173956)

Or! The total collapse of the ecosystem and biodiversity could have happened thousands of years ago. Then again, it would be cool if they had gotten past all of those problems, so we'd all be happily enjoying clean cold fusion and colonizing space by now ;)

Re:Cool. (2, Interesting)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174444)

I had a professor once that pretty effectively argued that Crete was Atlantis. I have forgot most of the arguments, but I believe one of them was that if you assumed a common translation error in numbers that Plato might have committed, then the eruption of Thera would coincide very well with the (corrected) time period of Atlantis's fall.

Re:Cool. (1)

G00F (241765) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173056)

he disagreed with most of Hancock's assertions, that some of them deserved much closer consideration. And it's not only academic politics that have shaped our "consensus" regarding those civilizations. Religious and political forces have played an even greater role in making sure that the accepted history supports certain orthodoxies.

Do you have any that you can share? Any specifics?

I would like to know more than just what "lies my teacher told me" kind of books show. History is important, and unfortunately are rewriting to suit the winners, usually with political/religion goals. I didn't think discovery was that harsh, although suspected it played a roll.

So please impart with us more than a simple "the truth is out there" . . .

Re:Cool. (3, Insightful)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173570)

It would be more accurate to say your history books are full of mistruths, but if you want examples, just pick nearly any thing from a high school history book... and then REALLY research it.

1) We're all told that Benedict Arnold was simply a traitor to the American Revolution... but not that he was mistreated prior to that. (note: I'm not drawing judgment, these are simply facts).
2) We're all told that the "Americas" were sparsely populated by a few tens of thousands - not millions - of "natives". The "Trail of Tears" gets about 1/2 page coverage - scant compared to other 19th and 10th century genocides..
3) General Custer died a hero, and was NOT a coward who engaged in genocidal killings of women and infants.
4) Jesus was blonde, blue-eyed, and never took a wife

I'm just rattling off 4 I could think of inside of a few seconds.

(And to any perceived anti-US bias comments, it's untrue to suggest that. I happen to be most familiar with my own culture and therefore capable of poking holes in the lies it teaches. Every culture is guilty of this, but I can't be expected to have the same level of familiarity with those other cultures. Whatever, most people get it right?)

Re:Cool. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173694)

Do you have any that you can share? Any specifics?

Yes.

There was never a Jewish "King David". All of the main characters in very early Jewish culture were actually Egyptians, including, of course, Moses.

And Jesus was from a wealthy and powerful family and actually had a claim to the throne. He may have even been related by blood to Cleopatra.

Regarding King David: all of the stories about King David have no basis in archeological record. But, there is an Egyptian character of an earlier period with exactly the same history, including the names of the people in his court, his association with a "star" (as in "Star of David") and a city (as in "City of David"). This, the archeological record actually confirms.

Some interesting reading about these issues can be found in the books of Ralph Ellis. Another researcher who academics publicly label as a "kook" while begrudgingly accepting his conclusions in private.

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174488)

There's barely any evidence that Jesus even existed but now he's royalty?

Re:Cool. (5, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173098)

The Egyptians were experts in using water. Easy to level the base of the pyramids, just flood the whole area on a calm day, and mark the water level. Likewise, why drag/roll stones for miles when you can just build a canal and float them to the work site? With use temporary dykes and thousands of people to pump water up hill, you could practically float them into place and drop them. Of course, there would be no trace left of temporary systems put in place to move stones, be they canals or ramps, any more than there are traces of scaffolding around the great cathedrals.

I also find silly our clinging to the belief that there was absolutely no interaction between Egyptian and South American civilizations, despite growing evidence of "native" South American plants showing up in ancient Egypt. It seems like blatant Euro-centricism to assume that Europeans were the only ones capable of "discovering" new continents, especially since these continents were already inhabited by other peoples!

Re:Cool. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173718)

just flood the whole area on a calm day

Flood the entire plain of Giza to a hundred feet?

Come on.

Re:Cool. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174028)

Of course, there would be no trace left of temporary systems put in place to move stones, be they canals or ramps, any more than there are traces of scaffolding around the great cathedrals.

Uh, dude, there ARE traces of scaffolding around the great cathedrals. The post holes are easily found, and will still be there in ten thousand years except where other construction obliterates them.

Or were you just trolling?

Re:Cool. (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174174)

Theres also evidence of Ramps around a few pyramids, (though not all, and none of the great ones of Giza I believe).

I think he might have been trolling a bit, their brick wasn't just sand and water, it was a carful mixture, including wheat. A lot of preparation went into preparing the stones, so that they were so strong, which is why they are still standing to this day. Also, the way everything is assembled brick by brick, you'd wonder why the base wouldn't be one giant piece, using his theory.

Re:Cool. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174270)

With use temporary dykes and thousands of people to pump water up hill,

College towns tend to have good beer, which I gather was very important to the Egyptian people and the pyramid laborers in particular, but otherwise I fail to see how LUGs are going to help us here. And I don't mean Linux Users Groups.

Re:Cool. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174414)

It seems like blatant Euro-centricism to assume that Europeans were the only ones capable of "discovering" new continents, especially since these continents were already inhabited by other peoples!

Is it also blatant Euro-centrism to assume that Egyptians couldn't have discovered America because they were woefully lousy sailors?

Re:Cool. (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173280)

> Almost every native culture on Earth has legends about a "golden age" when a more advanced civilization existed, which then disappeared during a subsequent "dark age".

This idea appeared and appears every time after the war, specially in conquests with the resulting establishment of an oppressive regime. With time, it becomes part of the "legendary history" and conforms the roots of many independence movements and nationalisms.

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174330)

This idea appeared and appears every time after the war, specially in conquests with the resulting establishment of an oppressive regime. With time, it becomes part of the "legendary history" and conforms the roots of many independence movements and nationalisms.

Much like the fabled "Reagan years" in American history, before the evil Lord Clinton attempted to wipe away his legacy...




This entire post was sarcasm for those who are blind to it.

Re:Cool. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173538)

There are rock carvings being discovered in the Southern part of Africa that show very advanced understanding of astronomy, geography and time measurement that appear to be over twenty thousand years old which is much, much earlier than previously thought.

[[citation needed]] An academic one showing how they determined without question that they had 'advanced' knowledge and discussing how the carving were dated. Anything less gets you filed with von Däniken and Art Bell.
 

If we can ever get scientists to be able to really research the pyramids and nearby structures without the dictatorial control of the Egyptian government, there is reason to believe that there are references to sophisticated understanding of astronomy going back over fifty thousand years.

[[citation needed]] See the restriction above as to proving that there are actually reasons to believe such thing.

Re:Cool. (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173702)

Never mind technology, look at behaviour. Anything we don't understand is at best disregarded as "ritual" and at worst some elaborate fantasy is concocted that we don't have, nor could possibly hope to obtain, any evidence to support. (Not that I can be bothered to put in some evidence to support this argument, but this is /. after all).

old civs couldn't have been THAT smart. (1)

bluie- (1172769) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173818)

if they were so smart, how come they're dead?

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174082)

Look around on google, there is a guy who builds massive concrete blocks and moves them and stacks them _by himself_ using very simple principles of pivots and balance. If I'm not mistaken he has already showed how essentially one man following his example can build stonehenge by himself.

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174090)

I have this theory that the pyramids were actually landing pads for alien space ships...

Re:Cool. (4, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174622)

I have problem with people making statements about how the pyramids could not be built with the technology available. So called crop circle experts said there was no way humans could be behind crop circles, until they were shown video of two retired guys and a wood plank in fact doing it. People used to talk about how it was scientifically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, but yet it does.

I think some people think too highly of their ability to figure things out, and they don't give other people enough credit for their ingenuity.

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174642)

the notion that you can drag, or roll on logs, granite blocks weighing up to 100 tons for several miles, and then erasing every sign of the way in which they were moved, is just nonsense

A 100 ton block could easily be pushed or pulled over rollers by 200 people. If you put 20 people on each rope, that's only 10 ropes to attach to the block. That's very easy to manage. Dragging the block over the desert on slides, and going over hills and around obstacles makes the process much harder, but it's hardly insurmountable. Neither the rollers or sleds would leave any signs for more than a year. Even if the Egyptians created construction roads through the desert by smoothing the terrain and compacting the soil, those would be gone in a few years if they weren't maintained. In fact, not only is it not nonsense that such signs would be erased, it would be very surprising if any of these signs were visible thousands of years later. With regard to moving them 100 feet in the air, ramps and pulleys would be sufficient. There's no reason they couldn't make a ramp thousands of feet in length if necessary. Remember that they had a work force of thousands of people. They certainly had enough force to apply to the problem; their real problem would have been the logistics of applying all of that force to the granite block.

The bigger question is where is the documentation? Egyptians recorded all sort of activities in their tombs and temples, why not the methods of pyramid construction? The obvious reason would be because they wanted to keep them secret.

Re:Cool. (2, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172628)

Screw Atlantis, I left a prototype G4 phone lying around, can it help me find that?

Atlantis (1)

johanwanderer (1078391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172700)

Now find Atlantis.

Using LIDAR on Earth isn't going to help. Last time I saw, it flew to another planet.

Re:Cool. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173130)

I don't think LIDAR works underwater. Try SONAR instead.

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32173282)

It's on the coast of San Francisco, duh!

Any images? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171844)

So, I skimmed TFA, and I don't see any pics. Clicked on several links, nothing.

I'd actually like to see this, it sounds pretty cool -- does anyone have a link which actually has images in it?

Re:Any images? (2, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171956)

To answer my own question ... here is a link [nytimes.com] .

The NYT has the images so wrapped up in javascript, plugins, and whatnot that noscript didn't let me get to it. :-P

Re:Any images? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171978)

There's a thumbnail on the left of the article which links to a big image.

Fast turnaround (4, Interesting)

JustNilt (984644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171866)

What's most impressive to me is how quickly they got the results. It only took a couple days of actual data gathering then a few weeks of lab processing. Last I heard about anything similar (using satellite images, IIRC) it took months to get results.

Very cool stuff.

Research Report URL (5, Informative)

Atraxen (790188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171916)

The NYT article was actually pretty good, but for those who want a bit more 'meat on the bone', here's the 2009 research project report:
http://caracol.cos.ucf.edu/reports/2009.php [ucf.edu]
There are some nice examples of the LIDAR images at the end of the page in the Figures section.

Re:Research Report URL (3, Informative)

city (1189205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172178)

I was there in November and they have done a really good job there leaving some of the city as it exists today overtaken by the jungle and some restored to show how the Maya lived in the cities. You would have no idea the mounds and hills of the jungle are pyramids and structures. The people there say you can't buy land without diggin up a Maya house in your backyard. Today in Belize there are around 300,000 people in the whole country, versus estimations before the Maya collapse of a couple million. For perspective the largest city there today only has 70,000 people.

Re:Research Report URL (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172342)

So we have found a large, ancient city with a large population. No good cable television in play explains it all. They had nothing to do but reproduce and without good sewer systems living a few steps away from your neighbors keeps the stink down a bit.

Re:Research Report URL (1)

yo_tuco (795102) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172826)

"So we have found a large, ancient city with a large population."

Significant. One of the largest, ancient and romantic cities were so many of its citizens had broken hearts.

They aren't overgrown (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32171994)

These pyramids aren't overgrown, they're just big boned, you insensitive clods.

Re:They aren't overgrown (2, Funny)

Tukz (664339) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172382)

These pyramids aren't overgrown, they're just big stoned, you insensitive clods.

There, fixed it.

Re:They aren't overgrown (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173220)

Vegatationally endowed?

Lidar (4, Funny)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172142)

Pretty much my favourite detection system.

Re:Lidar (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172334)

Yep. It detects lies.

Re:Lidar (1)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172598)

What?! But... how will I detect lids?

Re:Lidar (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172828)

"But... how will I detect lids?"

Find Merlo the Magician. Fall into his hat.

Re:Lidar (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172386)

It took them like three hours to finish the shading on the upper lips of those terraces.

Re:Lidar (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173444)

half lion, half radar?

Re:Lidar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174386)

...bred for it's skills in science.

Re:Lidar (1)

bluie- (1172769) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173980)

I'm also a fan of gaydar

How about using GAYdar? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172168)

They'd probably find some fabulous things using Gaydar.

Re:How about using GAYdar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172302)

You misspelled fabulouth!

Commageddon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172196)

[quote]Using this, suddenly hidden pyramids, agricultural terraces, and ancient roads are revealed, at 6-inch resolution.[/quote]

I must assume that those pyramids hidden at their maker's leisure remain undiscovered.

Professor Jones (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172396)

I haven't RTFA, but I've been in archeology for decades, and I've never heard of this Lidar fellow. Is that is first name or last name? He must be very respected to have a team of archeologists to go scanning the jungle with him. I've been to Central and South American numerous times and my travel companions always turned on me. As for staring at reflected light, it might be better than staring directly at the light, but I recommend keeping your EYES SHUT! Last guys I knew that kept their eyes open - well - their faces melted!

Idle Questions (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172398)

Not that I ever plan on visiting, but...
Can they see, how do you say, any pockets of gold in these scans? Accuracy would be important. Do the airplane restrictions include shovels and picks? Do they search your luggage when you go home? Can you make more money out of mayan gold ornaments, or would you get more out of a solid, unrecognisable, lump?

Professor Jones (0, Redundant)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172654)

I haven't RTFA, but I've been in archeology for decades, and I've never heard of this Lidar fellow. Is that is first name or last name? He must be very respected to have a team of archeologists to go scanning the jungle with him. I've been to Central and South American numerous times and my travel companions always turned on me.

As for staring at reflected light, it might be better than staring directly at the light, but I recommend keeping your EYES SHUT! Last guys I knew that kept their eyes open - well - their faces melted!

2012? (1)

SoulMaster (717007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172662)

Could these newly found pyramids finally unlock the secrets of what will happen (or not) on December 21st, 2012?

Personally, I'm betting we're not going to get these dug out in time. When we do get them un-buried, I'd laugh if they said something along the lines, "Yeah, our whole 2012 thing was just a joke to scare the Inca! See those lines they built at Nazca? We put them up to that too!".

Ahh, the Maya, the great pranksters of the ancient world!

Until then, I'm just going to be happy with the 2012 Insurance Policy [2012ins.com] I picked up to laugh about this 2012 thing with all my friends!

-SM

Re:2012? (2, Funny)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172972)

My theory is that 2012 is when all the Mayan computers will crash.

You just know that ~5000 years ago, some Mayan committee somewhere was designing this, and someone said "hey, what happens after year 5335?" and the answer was "who cares? by the time that rolls around, we'll be using something completely different."

It's just like Y2K, except there is nobody around now to fix their code.

Re:2012? (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173222)

Yeah, but all the Mayan hardware was EOLed centuries ago. It's not like anyone needs support for it anymore.

Re:2012? (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173404)

It's just like Y2K, except there is nobody around now to fix their code.

It's worse, there are some Mayan programmers still around but nobody can afford them :(

Re:2012? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173708)

It's the Y14b'ak'tun problem. A tad clumsy the first few times you say it, but it grows on you.

Re:2012? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173088)

what will happen (or not) on December 21st, 2012?

Probably more or less the same things that happen (or not) on December 20th and 22nd, 2012.

Re:2012? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32173350)

Could these newly found pyramids finally unlock the secrets of what will happen (or not) on December 21st, 2012?

Ugh. I have a friend who studies Mayan archeology and she's so sick of this myth. Please people, the Mayan's didn't believe this, so just stop it.

I am reminded of the 'face' on Mars (1)

scerruti (1233214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32172730)

You know how people tend to see faces in objects? I suspect that when people design systems with this much processing they tend to see straight lines where they may not actually exist. There is a *lot* of digital processing happening on the raw data. So what does that cause? A game trail or footpath may appear to be a road. An irregular slope suddenly appears to be terraced farmland.

Let us not be awed by this technology until it has been proven out by field studies, this was the same technology that, just a few years earlier, reported a lake with a 14 degree slope.

Re:I am reminded of the 'face' on Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172982)

reading comprehension FTW

The years the Chases spent on traditional explorations at Caracol laid the foundation for confirming the effectiveness of the laser technology. Details in the new images clearly matched their maps of known structures and cultural features, the archaeologists said. When the teams returned to the field, they used the laser images to find several causeways, terraced fields and many ruins they had overlooked.

So why did so many cultures build pyramids ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172778)

Isn't that a little strange ? Or is it just one of those obvious things...(Hey, we should build build stone pyramid shaped things...)

Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32172798)

What did the aliens say when they came to earth to acquire imaging technology?

*beat*

"Take us to your lidar."

Lost City of Z (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173004)

So can they use this to find the fabled Lost City of Z in the Amazon jungle? And maybe the remains of explorer Percy Fawcett who disappeared looking for it?

what happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32173080)

i really want to know how a city so big and populated was just abandoned and forgotten. Man-eating plants seems the most plausible explanation...

I've been told that (1)

tdp252 (519328) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173164)

GayDar is a much more advanced technology...

Re:I've been told that (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32174056)

Advances seem to set it off the most.

it's time for... (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173166)

Robot Indiana Jones

Pretty much (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173712)

The Lidar is pretty much my favorite animal.

Word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32174470)

"...suddenly hidden pyramids, agricultural terraces, and ancient roads are revealed"

How'd they become hidden so suddenly? Jack's magic beanstalk took over the jungle overnight?

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