Thursday, October 28, 2021

New LIDAR Survey Uncovers Major Mesoamerican Structures


LIDAR keeps bringing us new and interesting discoveries. This time, in the digital unearthing of over 32,000 square miles of land in Mexico. 

Scientists have uncovered nearly 500 Mesoamerican monuments in southern Mexico using an airborne laser mapping technology called lidar. Dating as far back as 3000 years ago, the structures—still buried beneath vegetation—include huge artificial plateaus that may have been used for ceremonial gatherings and other religious events.


The analysis resulted in the discovery of 478 formal complexes—many new to science—the team reports today in Nature Human Behaviour. Several of these monuments had the same layout as Aguada FĂ©nix, including an even more ancient Olmec site in San Lorenzo. Researchers continue to argue over whether the Olmec, which predate the Maya, are more of a mother or sister culture to them. The researchers estimate these Olmec and Maya complexes were built between 1100 and 400 B.C.E., and would have been used for ceremonial gatherings.

Long discredited now is the argument that there aren't nearly enough structures in Mesoamerica to serve as evidence that a large and complex population once occupied the area as possible evidence of the Book of Mormon's claims.