LiDAR as Important as Carbon -14 Dating

This article in Foreign Policy provides an interesting perspective on the importance of LiDAR to the archaeology community. In the 1980s, the husband-and-wife team of Arlen and Diane Chase began the daunting project of mapping a lost Maya city named Caracol and its environs. Twenty five years later they thought they had completed the project until they saw the LiDAR images and realized they had only found about 10% of it.

The Chases declared lidar the greatest archaeological advance since carbon-14 dating, which won its discoverer a Nobel Prize and transformed the science of archaeology. It’s true that archaeology is on the verge of another revolution because of lidar. The technology will soon strip away the world’s jungles to reveal their lost civilizations and hidden treasures.


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One Response to LiDAR as Important as Carbon -14 Dating

  1. Joe Evans says:

    As an archaeologist who uses LiDAR in its various formats, I agree that it is a game-changer and argue that the ramifications LiDAR has on cultural heritage is vastly different. We’re creating an entirely new type of heritage through LiDAR; one that will stand the test of time, which is fundamentally different than anything humans have created in the past or the present.

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