LiDAR technology finds the “White City” in Honduras

LiDAR technology finds the “White City” in Honduras

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The Mosquitia jungle, in Honduras, occupies some 32,000 square miles (according to Google Maps) of wild and hostile unexplored area where, according to legend, the "city of gold" or "White City", what archaeologists finally believe they have located.

The University of Houston and the National Center for Laser Airbone Mapping have produced a 3D topological map showing a site circled in red.

In the Annual Conference of the American Geophysical Union held on May 15 in Cancun (Mexico), archaeologists, anthropologists and geologists have gathered to present the technology that has allowed them to discover "the lost city" in Honduras thanks to a technology based on light detection in the air (LiDAR) that has allowed them to locate a group of pyramids and squares that have remained hidden for centuries.

Knowledge of the "Golden City”, Also called White City, dates from references made by Hernán Cortés in a letter to the Spanish Emperor Charles V in 1526Although he never found it, much less the gold it claimed to contain. The references continue with Theodore Morde, an American adventurer who said he found "the lost city of the monkey god", where the natives worshiped huge ape-shaped sculptures, continuing with Charles Lindbergh, the first aviator who crossed the Atlantic and believed he glimpsed "a incredible ancient metropolis ”in the jungle area and who died in an accident before being able to reveal the location.

Steve Elkins, a Los Angeles amateur filmmaker and archaeologist, enlisted private investment support for the funding of LIDAR mapping of the rainforest in 2012, for which the researchers flew over 60 square miles of Mosquitia for a week with aircraft equipped with laser scanners (valued at 980,000 euros) that, using billions of laser shots, created a 3D digital map of the area.

Elkins became interested in the legend in 1990 when he traveled to Honduras in an unsuccessful attempt to find the ruins of the White City, and that now after the investigation he affirms that: “I was captivated by the story and I decided to wait for the arrival of high technology specialized in the search not to walk aimlessly through the jungle. Two decades later, the opportunity has presented”.

The main archaeologists of the project, Christopher Fisher and Stephen Leisz, although have not revealed the exact location of the city lost due to fear of looting, reveal to us that this pre-Hispanic city was probably more developed in those past times than the other cities in the region, since it had pyramids, paved streets and an advanced irrigation system.

In conclusion, LIDAR technology research has collected more data in one week than any terrestrial research in ten years, which is a great technological advance in the field of archeology. Faced with these developments, Elkins intends to do an in-depth exploration of the site in the fall and record a documentary about the project that is underway.

Almost graduated in Marketing from the Rey Juan Carlos University, a degree chosen by vocation as a good passionate about communication and a great addict to continuously analyze each commercial that is presented to me. Very perfectionist ... very creative ... and very, very restless. I live from the imagination, so I can bring different ideas and points of view. I love drawing and anything that deals with design, frustrated artist. Curious about everything ancient and a lover of Egyptology for as long as I can remember; Egypt marked on my skin. Although I am not a historian, Red Historia gives me the opportunity to share this passion and to make you feel the same concern that I feel.

Video: Speaker Documentary Filmmaker Steve Elkins