Archaeologists working for INAH, the National Institute of Anthropology and History will continue with excavation and restoration projects in Chichen Itza, Dzibilchaltun, Ek Balam, Mayapan and the Izamal area in 2016. They will search for more evidence that casts light on the lives of the ancient inhabitants of these cities.
In the case of Mayapan, cartographers from Morehead State University, University of Albany and St. Rose College, Albany, United States and archaeologists from the Regional INAH Center in Yucatan have been using Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) technology developed by NASA to map the landscape for traces of ancient buildings.
The technology is used during over flights of the study area and pulses of light penetrate the forest and undergrowth building up three-dimensional images of manmade structures such as buildings, artificial platforms, walls and paths. This enables the researchers to create a map of the area.
Since 2013, they have registered the existence of more than 6,000 buildings within the city wall and its hinterland, 116 cenotes and now estimate that the city had a population of up to 20,000 people.
Mayapan is considered the last city-state of the Maya in the Yucatan. Settlers from Chichen Itza founded it around 1250 A.D., leaving their homeland, which was in decline by then.
Although much smaller than Chichen Itza, Mayapan shares certain similarities with its more powerful predecessor, for example it also has a pyramid called El Castillo and a circular observatory on a temple mound.
Archaeologists believe that Mayapan was abandoned around 1450.
(Source: Lidar technology, Novedades)