An American couple uses advanced technology to unearth an ancient civilization that holds the key to building the city of the future.
Diane and Arlen Chase share a lifelong commitment to exploration. In 1985, the pair came to the ruins of Caracol, an ancient Mayan city in Belize first discovered in 1937. It contains the tallest structures in the country.
Diane Chase said that when they first arrived, there was “no visible architecture” and everything looked like a simple hillside. and found hundreds of thousands of artifacts. At first it relied on traditional archaeological methods, but in 2009 everything changed. That’s when we were able to try out a revolutionary technology called LiDAR. LiDAR is an airborne laser mapping system that can see through trees and reveal hidden locations that might otherwise have taken decades. discover.
The couple’s son, Adrian Chase, gave a demonstration to CBS News, revealing how technology can make the area look like nothing more than bare ground and give a sense of the different structures in the landscape. bottom.
“When I saw the LiDAR results, it was amazing because all of a sudden I had control over the space. I could see where the structures were and where they weren’t under those trees,” said Arlen Chase. said. “In our view, this is equivalent to radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dating allows us to control time. LiDAR may allow us to control the space of the Mayan region.”
Learning about the city of Karakol provides more information about its past. Chases said it could also be an inspiration for today’s city planners.
“When you see how Karakol is built, it is an incredibly planned city. I think you can learn something about this plan. Reservoirs have been placed for people to access, and there are fields — near almost every home.
The area is not entirely urban. There are also places that Diane Chase described as suburbs, or residential areas. Some of those sites were discovered with LiDAR technology. During this excavation, the Chase’s are looking for architecture that will tell us how many people lived in the homes in the area. According to Diane Chase, the excavation will be done by hand and will be done in the same way these homes were originally built.
As impressive as the ruins found are the teamwork among the pursuers. The two even end each other’s sentences.
“We’re doing really well,” said Diane Chase. “Some people say, ‘How can I work with my husband? ‘ Of course they don’t know us, but we’re a good team.”