New Light on the Lowlands: Lidar at Yaxnohcah, Mexico

Authors: Nicholas Dunning*, University of Cincinnati, Armando Anaya Hernandez, Universidad Autonoma de Campeche, Christopher Carr, University of Cincinnati, Kathryn Reese-Taylor, University of Calgary
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Anthropocene, Remote Sensing
Keywords: Maya, Archaeology, Lidar, Tropical Forest
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom C, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The introduction of airborne lidar has revolutionized ancient settlement pattern and landscape archaeology research in the Maya Lowlands over the last decade. Beginning with a single site, Caracol, Belize, in 2009, lidar survey has now been expanded over thousands of square kilometers of the lowlands. The ability of lidar to image land surface below tropical forest has laid bare large areas of the landscape and revealed tremendous variability in ancient settlement density and land use patterns. We briefly review the current state of lidar coverage in the Maya Lowlands. We also examine how lidar, and subsequent field work, has expanded our understanding of the role of large scale water collection and storage in the emergence of urbanism at Yaxnohcah, Campeche, Mexico.

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