Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Dr. Marcello Canuto, Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli, and team uncover new Mayan ruins in Guatemala

October 18th, 2019

The Express has published an article highlighting the work of Marcello Canuto, a Stone Center Core Faculty member and Director of the Middle American Research Institute, and fellow researcher Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli. “Mayan discovery: How laser scan revealed network of hidden cities in ‘major breakthrough’” by Callum Hoare explores the advent of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and its creation of new pathways for understanding ancient Mayan civilization.

Scholars have employed this new technology to digitally remove jungle overgrowth in Guatatemala, revealing a sprawling complex of ruins that lie underneath. Canuto, one of the project’s top investigators, shares his insight on the import of this work and findings: “Now it is no longer necessary to cut through the jungle to see what’s under it. The fortified structures and large causeways reveal modifications to the natural landscape made by the Maya on a previously unimaginable scale.” Underscoring their magnitude, he asserts that these developments are a “revolution.” The article further elaborates that this area, near already discovered Maya cities, is now thought to have been home to millions more people than previous research suggested.

Read the full article here.