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Discovering ancient Maya settlements using airborne radar elevation data
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
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2011 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 7, 1655-1662 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This report presents the results of using NASA/JPL airborne synthetic aperture radar data (AIRSAR) to detect ancient Maya settlements beneath jungle canopy in Guatemala. AIRSAR stands out from previous applications of radar remote sensing in the Maya lowlands because of its canopy-penetrating capabilities. The authors offer an overview of the AIRSAR technology, followed by a case study in which the AIRSAR data receive testing in the field. Reconnaissance in the region around the Maya site of El Zotz led to the discovery of two new sites, including the medium-sized settlement of La Avispa. AIRSAR also aided archaeologists in detecting zones of residential settlement around the site core of El Zotz. This research will serve as a guide for future applications of radar remote sensing in Maya archaeology. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 38, no 7, 1655-1662 p.
Keyword [en]
Maya, Remote sensing, AIRSAR, El Zotz, La Avispa
National Category
Archaeology Remote Sensing
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-104847DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.031ISI: 000291771000024OAI: diva2:822904
Available from: 2015-06-17 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2015-06-17Bibliographically approved

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Garrison, Thomas G.
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