(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) and the Bajo Laberinto Archaeological Project conducted a lidar scan of the Calakmul Maya archaeological site and revealed the remains of a large city that had been hidden under a dense cover of impenetrable jungle for many years.
A brief report on the discovery is published on the INAH website. The study was carried out using the technology of radar scanning of the area, which was carried out using a special device lidar. The latter was installed on the aircraft.
According to archaeologists, Calakmul is located deep in the jungle of the large Petén Basin in the Mexican state of Campeche. This city is known from ancient sources. It was the capital of the Serpent Kingdom known as “Kaan”.
In previous years, scientists managed to get to this place. Earlier, some remains of once massive structures were found, including glyphs depicting snakes. The discovery was considered extremely important, and a reserve was created around the remains of the ancient city.
However, it is only now that new scanning technology has allowed scientists to truly appreciate the extent of the ancient city. The researchers conducted aerial photography over an area of 95 square kilometers.
As a result, evidence of a once dense urban development, entire residential areas, was discovered. Thus, the photographs show the boundaries of 60 separate buildings grouped around temples and other sanctuaries.
Scientists have also discovered what may have been squares or markets used for trade and commerce. The density of buildings indicates that around 700 AD, Calakmul was one of the largest cities in the Americas.
According to archaeologists, at the peak of its development, about 50 thousand inhabitants lived in it, and its area exceeded 70 square kilometers.
It is known from written sources that during the classical period, Calakmul fiercely competed with the main Mayan state of that time the city of Tikal, located to the south.
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