Researchers from the United States, Mexico and Peru announced that they have discovered about 500 ancient buildings in southern Mexico with the aid of aerial laser mapping.
It is reported that the international team had announced in 2020 the discovery of a huge rectangular Mayan structure 1.5 km long, which they called the Aguada Phoenix. Researchers believe that this building was built between 1000 and 800 BC. This discovery prompted scientists to search for similar buildings using airborne lidar technology and laser mapping technology.
But since lidar technology is very expensive, the researchers had to use lidar data collected by the Mexican government. After combining it with field research data and using high-resolution lidar technology, they discovered 478 previously unknown archaeological sites in the Mexican states of Tabasco and Veracores. These newly discovered structures cover a vast area linking the Aguada Phoenix structure to an older archaeological site called San Lorenzo, which is the center of the Olmec civilization that existed since 1200 BC.
According to the researchers, these discoveries indicate a relationship between the ancient Olmec civilization and the Maya civilization between 250 and 950 AD. They believe that these rectangular structures were used for certain ceremonies and rituals, as many of them are oriented towards sunrise on certain dates.
The researchers note that in some of these structures 10 small platforms on each side, reflecting the special importance of the number 20 in Mesoamerican number systems. They believe that studying these sites in the field may take decades.