Identifying Ancient Maya sites with Remote Sensing

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire, in conjunction with scientists at NASA, have been using remote sensing techniques to identify prehistoric Maya sites in Central America. The dense tropical rain forests in the region make the identification of sites from the air or on the ground very difficult. By analyzing high-resolution imagery and NASA’s Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar, the researchers were able to identify a specific  reflectivity in the vegetation around known archaeological sites in the area, and used that “signature” to identify areas where  previously unrecorded sites might be located. Field-testing in 2004 demonstrated the utility of this technique, when the archaeologists identified a number of Mayan sites. More details can be found in this article from
Via Archaeology Magazine


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