Episode 26: In 2018, an international partnership of scientists began mapping the ground surface in the Mayan area over 2000 square kilometres using light detection and ranging technology (LIDAR). LIDAR is an imaging technology that probes the terrain micro-reliefs using a laser sensor on board an aircraft or a drone.
More specifically, a Franco-Guatemalan team studied the digital terrain models from the Naatchtun site. Researchers thus identified many previously unknown remains, which testify to a high population density throughout the area, as well as intensive agricultural land use and an extensive road network. These discoveries contradict the vision of classical archaeology and thereby offer a new vision of Mayan society.