Rethinking the Maya Settlement System: Lessons from LiDAR

March 28, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Join us for a brown bag lunch presentation by Thomas Garrison, USC assistant professor (teaching) of anthropology and spatial sciences, as he shares insights and new discoveries on investigations in the Maya Lowlands. Archaeologists have struggled for over a century to understand fundamental aspects of the Maya settlement system, long obscured by the welter of vegetation that blankets the karstic landscape. Since 2009, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology has started to change archaeologists’ thinking about Maya settlement patterns, as this exciting innovation allows us to peak through the canopy and truly appreciate the impact the ancient Maya had on their surroundings. A 2016 LiDAR survey of the northern Peten of Guatemala acquired over 2000 km2 of data across the Maya Biosphere Reserve. These new data include important sites such as Tikal, Uaxactun, Holmul, San Bartolo, Naachtun, El Peru-Waka’, La Corona, Tintal, and El Zotz, as well as vast areas surrounding the urban cores. Using examples from the data around El Zotz, this talk will explore some of the lessons learned from this important new data set and also touch on how we need to reconfigure both our ideas and methods for understanding Maya settlement systems moving forward.

March 28, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Spatial Sciences Institute Conference Room (AHF B57J)

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