Airborne Scanning

Richard D. Hansen et al.: LiDAR analyses in the contiguous Mirador-Calakmul Karst Basin (MCKB), Guatemala: an introduction to new perspectives on regional early Maya socioeconomic and political organization 05.12.2022

This article is an introduction to one of the largest, contiguous, regional LiDAR studies published to date in the Maya Lowlands. More than 775 ancient Maya settlements have been identified within the MCKB and 189 more in the surrounding karst ridges, which have been grouped on the basis of area, volumetry, and architectural configurations into 417 ancient cities, towns, and villages of at least six tentative levels.
Many tiered sites date to the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, as determined by archaeological testing, and volumetrics of contemporaneously constructed and/or occupied architecture with similar morphological characteristics.

Eagle Mapping conducted the LiDAR survey of the southern MCKB, under contract with FARES, in two phases (Phase I: 2015; Phase II: 2018), using the RIEGL LMS-Q1560 system and a RIEGL LMS Q780 scanner at nominal altitudes of 550 m and 650 m. The RIEGL systems used a scan angle of 58 degrees. The light-beam divergence was 0.25 mrads and the nominal pulse density was 20 pulses/m2. The according LiDAR data was used to generate a DEM, then different surface and visualization models have been produced to interpret archaeological features, including hillshade with different light positions.

The full article was published on the platform, and can be found here.