Archaeologists used laser technology to map a 100-kilometer-long Mayan stone road that should have been built 1,300 years ago to help ward off an invasion of an isolated city in modern Mexico,media reported. The ancient highway is believed to have been built at the command of the samurai queen, Lady K’awiil Ajaw, and was painted with white plaster.
Also known as Sacbe 1 or White Road 1, the 26-foot-wide road stretches from the ancient city of Koba, one of the greatest cities in the Mayan world, to a remote town in Yasuna on the Yucatan Peninsula.
The newly published study sheds light on the nature of Lady K’awiil Ajaw’s great path by using light detection and ranging technology, also known as lidar technology. To make the measurements, the researchers used an airborne lidar instrument that fired lasers at the surface as it passed through the ancient path.
These lasers bounce back when they hit the ground, which records the time interval between the light emits and the light returns. By analyzing the data, the scientists produced detailed 3D maps of areas that would normally be covered by dense forests.
Lidar scans revealed 8,130 buildings along the ancient road. In this paper, it is estimated that their combined volume will fill 2,900 Olympic-standard-sized swimming pools.
Lidar data also showed that the wide road bypassed many towns on its way to the finish line, suggesting that the road may have formed a main road connecting thousands of residents of the area.
The study’s authors hypothesized that the road might have been built by Lady K’awiil Ajaw to pave the way for territorial expansion to counter the threat of the invading Chichen Itza Empire. Koba may have been seeking to capture the isolated city of Yasuna, in the heart of the peninsula, so that it can gain a foothold under the growing threat.
Traci Ardren, an archaeologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Miami and co-author of the new study, said: “It was built before 700 AD, at the end of the classical period, when Coba was expanding vigorously. It tried to keep its power, so with the rise of Chichen Itza, it needed to establish a stronghold in the heart of the peninsula. This path is one of Koba’s last efforts to maintain its strength. “
As part of the study, the team excavated the complex on the border between Koba and Asona and plans to conduct a third excavation in the summer. Their goal is to create similarities in the types of household goods used in two remote population centres.
The study was published in Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of The Journal of