A recent aerial survey using lidar mapping tools in northern Guatemala has revealed more than 60,000 new Maya structures including pyramids, causeways, house foundations, and fortifications used for defense. The findings are reshaping thoughts on the size and scope of the Maya civilization.
Researchers now say that as many as 10 million people may have lived in the area known as the Maya Lowlands. That’s two to three times as many as scientists had thought. The Maya are a group of indigenous communities found in southern Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
A new National Geographic special, “Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings,” focuses on some of these finds, including a seven-story pyramid so covered in vegetation that it practically melts into the jungle.