Date:

Survey finds 18 km Maya sacbé using LiDAR

An archaeological survey conducted by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), has identified an 18 km sacbé linking the Maya cities of Uxmal and Kabah in the Puuc region of western Yucatan, Mexico.

A sacbé is a raised paved road constructed by the Maya people to connect temples, plazas, and groups of structures within ceremonial centres, or served as major highways between cities.

Sacbé comes from a combination of two Yucatec Maya words, “sac” meaning white and “be” or “beh” meaning way, road, or pathway.

A recent survey using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) has identified an 18km sacbé linking the Maya cities of Uxmal and Kabah. LiDAR is a method of remote sensing using light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.

- Advertisement -

The differences in the laser return times and measuring the wavelengths can be used to compile a 3D digital map of the landscape, removing obscuring features that could hide archaeological features.

The study revealed that the sacbé is 5 metres (16 feet) wide and had monumental corbel arches at each end.

According to the researchers, the sacbé represents the strong interactions between the people of Uxmal and Kabah around AD 700-950, when both cities were the largest Maya polities in the Puuc region.

Uxmal and Kabah also share similar architectural features in the Puuc Maya style, which first emerged at the end of the Late Classic period and experienced its greatest extent during the Terminal Classic period. A common feature at both sites are entwined snakes and, in many cases, two-headed snakes used for masks of the rain god, Chaac.

Header Image Credit : INAH

- Advertisement -
SourceINAH

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Geophysical study finds evidence of “labyrinth” buried beneath Mitla

A geophysical study has found underground structures and tunnels beneath Mitla – The Zapotec “Place of the Dead”

Discovery of a Romanesque religious structure rewrites history of Frauenchiemsee

Archaeologists from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation have announced the discovery of a Romanesque religious structure on the island of Frauenchiemsee, the second largest of the three islands in Chiemsee, Germany.

Ring discovery suggests a previously unknown princely family in Southwest Jutland

A ring discovered in Southwest Jutland, Denmark, suggests a previously unknown princely family who had strong connections with the rulers of France.

Submerged evidence of rice cultivation and slavery found in North Carolina

Researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) are using side-scan sonar and positioning systems to find evidence of rice cultivation and slavery beneath the depths of North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers.

Study reveals oldest and longest example of Vasconic script

A new study of the 2100-year-old Hand of Irulegi has revealed the oldest and longest example of Vasconic script.

Archaeologists excavate the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä

Archaeologists have excavated the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä, a former Nazi barracks occupied by homeless Finns following the end of WW2.

Archaeologists find 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle

A team of archaeologists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have uncovered a 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle in the Guanyin District of Taoyuan City.

Traces of Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais found at foot of Mount Tabor

During excavations near Beit Keshet in Lower Galilee, Israel, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered traces of a market within the historic Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais.