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Amazon’s Lost Cities

A complex network of residential communities, roads, and gardens built by ancient Mayan civilizations has been revealed through new laser mapping technology called lidar. Lidar uses light detection and ranging that can see through dense foliage to uncover concealed features of land. The images show that these “lost cities” in the Amazon were urban agrarian communities built in what is now Ecuador’s Upano Valley. The 116 mile area consists of five large settlements, ten small settlements, ceremonial structures, farm land, forests, and more. These newly mapped cities give historians a new understanding of what society was like back in 500 B.C., which is when researchers believe the area was first occupied. 

Image via NBC News

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