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TOPIC: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America

Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12286

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Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America
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FORT COLLINS - Colorado State University professors Christopher Fisher and Stephen Leisz have partnered with an international team of researchers utilizing LiDAR technology to seek ancient settlements and human constructed landscapes in an area long rumored to contain the legendary city of Ciudad Blanca – the mythical “White City” – in Central America.

The project is a collaboration of the Global Heritage Foundation (GHF), UTL Productions, the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM), CSU, and the Honduran government. It is outlined in detail in the May 6 edition of The New Yorker.

Fisher, associate professor of archaeology, and Leisz, assistant professor of geography, have successfully worked with airborne LiDAR to help reveal a lost pre-Columbian city in central Mexico. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique used to examine the earth’s surface.

Researchers focused their search for evidence of ancient settlements in the Mosquitia Coast region of Central America. Until now, dense tropical forests and relative inaccessibility of the region have hampered systematic archaeological investigation.

LiDAR’s computer-generated images allow researchers to “see” through the forest canopy to the ground surface, revealing any evidence of ancient settlements or human-engineered landscapes.

“The LiDAR point cloud data clearly show the remains of large settlements that can be characterized as ancient cities based on their spatial complexity, size and organization,” Fisher said. “We may never be able to tell whether any of these are Ciudad Blanca, or whether the legendary city ever existed, but we can clearly see in the UTL data evidence that there was a densely settled region with a human modified environment. These conclusions provide important new insights into the pre-Hispanic settlement of this largely unexplored region.”

Interpretation of the LiDAR data suggests that the largest of these settlements is roughly the size of the central core of Copan, Honduras, though the architecture appears to be much less monumental. Copan was a Mayan city of nearly 20,000 people that thrived from the 5th through 9th centuries A.D.

Fisher and Leisz utilized LiDAR in recent research documenting the extent and spatial organization of the newly discovered ancient city of Angamuco, Michoacán, Mexico, as part of the Legacies of Resilience Archaeological Project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Geographic Society. Fisher, Leisz and several co-authors championed the use of LiDAR in Mesoamerica in a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as a scientific revolution that will fundamentally change the way that archaeologists do fieldwork.

“We were able to use our work at Angamuco to help reveal similar patterns in the Mosquitia data,” said Leisz. “The Honduras LiDAR results add to a growing number of studies using LiDAR point cloud-derived elevation data to analyze the ancient human impacts on the landscape of the Americas.”

Over the next several months Fisher, Leisz, and NCALM scientists will systematically analyze the Mosquitia data in preparation for fieldwork aimed at ground verification and documentation of the results as part of the broader GHF project. Leisz recently traveled to Honduras to sign a memorandum of understanding between CSU and GHF, as well as agreements of collaboration with The Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History (IHAH), and Porfirio Lobo, president of Honduras. Initial results from the project will be presented by Leisz and Fisher in a session on the use of LiDAR at the upcoming American Geophysical Union Meeting of the Americas, to be held May 14-17, in Cancun, Mexico.



Courtesy Colorado State University
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“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12294

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Sounds like something you could use Tommy.
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12297

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Yep! that and a magnetometer and I'll be good to go. Of course a good Mag will run me about 20K and I can't even begin to imagine what it would cost to get that LiDAR technology.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12301

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Forget a Mag. Contact the people with access to a LiDAR and tell them what you're doing. I don't think that we're talking Iron Age here.
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12303

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:woohoo: I see at least 4 places I'd run right to. Man, that's awesome. Okay John, Tommy, where do we get that technology gizmo? :laugh:
Count your Blessings but Remember your Dreams!
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12304

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The mag is for the lost city at the bottom of lake Izabal. However, if I find the lost Mayan Library first then the cost of a Mag, side scan sonar and a very nice boat to tow it would not be a problem.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
Last Edit: 7 years 2 weeks ago by wreckdiver.
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12305

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Tommy,
What makes you think there is any iron?
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 7 years 2 weeks ago #12306

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Aquanut, while it is unlikely that there would be any large concentrations of Ferrous material at the lost city, the Spanish had a large trading port on the lake just a few mile away that had been attacked by pirates. Just a hunch.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12457

G'evening Ladies & gentsmen: Frankly I tend to doubt that the image shows either a city or man made object.

First it's size, prob less than a 100 meters square.

Second, one can trace natures faults etc both horizonally and vertically intersecting the supposed city's boundries.

Ok, the line forms on the right Judy and Uni, as usual, will serve coffee :woohoo:

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Last Edit: 6 years 11 months ago by Don Jose de La Mancha.
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12523

Isn't 'anyone' going to contest my statement?? There must be many flaws in my reasoning?

Don Jose de La Mancha
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12531

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B) I try not to point out the flaws in other people's reasoning...I have too many of my own. :P


Here is a good overview on LIDAR from the " Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America "....

www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/07/12/1205198109.full.pdf+html
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12533

????? But ?, but, I is perfect ?????? (excellent paper)

Don Jose de La Mancha
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12535

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Excellent article Judy, thanks for sharing this, lots of good info.
While the location identified as being the legendary lost city of Ciudad Blanca located deep in the jungles of Honduras in the Gracias a Dios region of the Mosquito Coast, may or may not be Ciudad Blanca. No one will really know until some explorers get in to the aria and find out for sure.
Lets just hope that some responsible treasure hunters get there before any institutional archaeologists do, or we will never see anything from the site.
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
Last Edit: 6 years 11 months ago by wreckdiver.
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12539

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;) No flaws in your reasoning at all, Tommy. Heheheh B)
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12570

" your reasoning "???? hmm sigh. get back to serving coffee or limeade.

Don Jose de La mancha
Last Edit: 6 years 11 months ago by Don Jose de La Mancha.
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12602

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:S Yassuh, Massuh Joe :P
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12603

nice to see a Phd candidate broad that realizes her place, even if she is the last of the big feet. now get back to my meditation cave and work on the resident spiders. :angry: :blush: :kiss: :blush:

Don Jose de La Mancha
Last Edit: 6 years 11 months ago by Don Jose de La Mancha.
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12624

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“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12628

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Excellent, Tommy! Thank you! :) B)
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Re: Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America 6 years 11 months ago #12632

Geeze Wreck diver, for a moment I thought that the video was showing just how wrong I could be, but, sniff, sigh, My impression on the possible lost city remains intact -- It tain't. a city.

Frankly I would luv discussing my theory and finding fault with it.

This would simplify my next project, which means impressing Uni and La Judy with my brilliance. :P

However, failing in that Do you believe that they actually found a city there with LIDAR, a fantastic device.

Don Jose de La Mancha
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