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Documenting Classic Maya Urban Landscapes: Comparing and Integrating the Results of LiDAR and Topographic Survey at El Perú-Waka’, Petén, Guatemala

Author(s): Damien Marken ; David Freidel

Year: 2017

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Summary

Hidden by the dense forest canopy of the Petén, the size, shape and form of Classic Maya cities have remained difficult for archaeologists to document in their entirety. In recent years, however, the application of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technologies have enabled the rapid acquisition of topographic data for large swaths of the Maya lowlands. These previous investigations, primarily in Belize, Mexico, and Honduras, demonstrate, however, that the quality and required steps in processing and analysis of LiDAR data is highly variable, often dependent upon variations in vegetation type and coverage.

This paper examines the results of a recent LiDAR survey of the Classic Maya site of El Perú-Waka’ located in the western Petén, Guatemala. Over the last fifteen years El Perú has been subject of intensive and extensive topographic mapping and full-coverage survey. These "traditional" survey data provide a vital comparative data set with which to examine the strengths and weakness of LiDAR data in the Petén.


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Documenting Classic Maya Urban Landscapes: Comparing and Integrating the Results of LiDAR and Topographic Survey at El Perú-Waka’, Petén, Guatemala. Damien Marken, David Freidel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431297)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15904

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America