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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Scientists Find Lost City in Honduras

Researchers believe they may finally have uncovered the lost 'White City of gold' in Honduras using hi-tech scanners that let aircraft 'see' through dense forest. 
Researchers from the University of Houston and the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) flew over the Mosquitia region in a small plane shooting billions of laser pulses at the ground to create a 3D digital map of the topology beneath the jungle canopy. 
Compiling their data, the analysts revealed what appears to be man-made elevation changes that are thought to show a forgotten city plaza dotted with pyramids reclaimed by the jungle.
... 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,' said Colorado State University professors Christopher Fisher, who led the research.

'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.'

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