Skip to content

Explorers announce discovery of secret Mayan ruins in jungles of Guatemala

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
2/8/2018 (3 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

At its height, Mayan civilization was the world's most advanced.

Explorers mapping the jungle cities of the Maya have uncovered 60,000 structures hidden in the jungle, revealing more secrets about the Mayan civilization. The structures were discovered with LIDAR, a laser imaging technology that allows explorers to see what is under the dense jungle foliage without having to step foot on the ground or disturb nature.

The jungle continues to hide ancient cities and secrets, which only now are being rediscovered.

The jungle continues to hide ancient cities and secrets, which only now are being rediscovered.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/8/2018 (3 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Maya, ruins, LIDAR, civilization, water, drought, Guatemala


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - An airborne LIDAR survey of ancient Mayan ruins has revealed some surprises. More than 60,000 individual structures have been discovered hidden under the dense canopy of the Guatemalan jungle. The discoveries show the sophistication of Maya civilization, which some think may have surpassed even that of the Greeks and Chinese. 

Explorers used an airborne LIDAR system to map the jungle around known Mayan cities. The system uses lasers to map the ground under with incredible precision, and when combined with GPS, explorers are able to map things that are hidden in the jungle. 

While locals know about the ruins, outsiders have little idea. Even for the locals, the discoveries are surprising. The survey reveals we have underestimated the Maya and their sophistication. 

The Maya flourished in Central America between 250 and 950 AD. This was the same time the Roman Empire collapsed, and barbarian tribes ran rampant across Europe. In Asia, Chinese civilizations remained divided, and a new religion, Islam, developed in the Middle East. While the rest of world sorted itself out, the Maya built grand pyramids, vast megalopolises with populations numbered in the millions. They even developed sophisticated irrigation systems with plumbing. Ruins in the city of Palenque suggest the Maya had an understanding of water pressure and were able to engineer at least one structure to take advantage of the knowledge, feeding a fountain. Was that all they did with this knowledge? Or did they do much more? 

The LIDAR survey shows 60,000 new structures. The layout and arrangement of these structures yield more knowledge. Vast highways were clearly built to connect population centers. Highways are often built for trade, which reinforces the idea that the Maya were skilled merchants. 

Fortresses and ramparts are strategically placed. They are common, which suggests that warfare was rampant. Extensive walls support this idea. Cities learn to build walls from their enemies, not friends. 

Around 1000 AD, the Mayan civilization collapsed. Why? 

A recent LIDAR survey in Guatemala uncovered more than 60,000 structures still hidden in the Central American jungle.

A recent LIDAR survey in Guatemala uncovered more than 60,000 structures still hidden in the Central American jungle.

Nobody knows for sure, but for some reason, a civilization of tens of millions of people perished within a short frame of time, perhaps over a century. The leading hypothesis is that a century-long drought disrupted their civilization enough that warfare and eventually civil war destroyed their cities and societies. People likely moved from place to place, seeking water and a way to escape the drought. 

Central America is a wet place and subterranean caves provide a steady supply of water, even in dry years, but it is possible that over time these water levels dropped to the point they could no longer support all the people who relied on them for survival. It may take decades or a century of drought for water to run low, but it only takes a few days for people to become desperate or die from dehydration. 

Whatever happened to the Maya remains shrouded in mystery like the ruins hidden in the jungles. Not even the locals, who are descendants of those Mayan people, know what happened to their ancestors. Archaeologists hope that new discoveries will help to solve that mystery someday. Our civilization could benefit from knowing the answer. 

Support FREE Catholic Education

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.


Comments


More Americas

Another priest murdered in Mexico Watch

Image of

The reported murder of a priest in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday marks the second killing of a priest in less than a week in the country. ... continue reading


Was Toronto terror suspect motivated by celibacy? Watch

Image of Alek Minassian killed 10 people and injured 25 in a rampage on a crowded sidewalk.

Terror suspect Alex Minassian, 25, used a rented van to mow down 25 people in Toronto, killing ten. From social media posts, it is ... continue reading


Catholic Relief Services builds hospital in Haiti Watch

Image of The newly rebuilt St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Haiti.

The tremor lasted less than a minute. Dr. Jude Banatte's car was shaking, and then it was not. Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Cardinal: Consecrate Mexico to Immaculate Heart of Mary Watch

Image of

Facing violence, poverty and corruption, Mexico should be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said Archbishop Emeritus Juan ... continue reading


Researchers discover Amazon basin was once home to a lost civilization of millions Watch

Image of The site of an abandoned village, centuries old, surrounded by earthworks.

Just when we think we know everything, along comes another discovery to surprise us. A surprising study on the Amazon basin reveals that ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.