Seeking the long-lost 'City of the Monkey God' in dense Honduras jungle
January 04, 2017 · 3:00 PM EST
By David Leveille
The “kitchen” area of the expedition’s camp deep in the Mosquitia jungle, 2015. The area was so remote, the animals apparently had never seen people before and wandered about, unafraid.
Credit: David Yoder
When archaeologists ventured into a thick Honduran rainforest in 2015, they were searching in an unexplored valley for the remnants of a long-lost city. Legend had it that an ancient metropolis was buried under centuries worth of jungle growth.
Deep in the forest, with the help of new technologies, scientists discovered the untouched ruins of a vanished culture.
“Usually an archaeological discovery takes a long time. There’s a lot of digging, you sit around doing nothing,” says Douglas Preston, who went along on the expedition. “In this case, they flew over the valley with this million-dollar LIDAR machine in the plane. In three days they mapped the valley; the next day they had an image of the ground with the trees removed, and the reaction of the scientists was something I’d never seen before.”
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The archaeologists Preston followed had the advantage of detailed survey maps to guide them to precise locations. Three years earlier, scientists had deployed advanced LIDAR (Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging) technology to peer through the rainforest canopy to reveal a sprawling ancient metropolis.PADemD, HeartoftheMidwest, Jan Boehmermann like this
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