Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior WriterDate: 15 May 2013 Time: 08:51 AM ET

Mound seen on lidar in Honduras
Lidar technology allows researchers to strip away the green forest canopy and reveals features beneath, including this mysterious mound that may be a sign of ancient civilization in the Honduras rainforest.
CREDIT: UTL Scientific, LLC

New images of a possible lost city hidden by Honduran rain forests show what might be the building foundations and mounds of Ciudad Blanca, a never-confirmed legendary metropolis.

Archaeologists and filmmakers Steven Elkins and Bill Benenson announced last year that they had discovered possible ruins in Honduras’ Mosquitia region using lidar, or light detection and ranging. Essentially, slow-flying planes send constant laser pulses groundward as they pass over the rain forest, imaging the topography below the thick forest canopy.

What the archaeologists found — and what the new images reveal — are features that could be ancient ruins, including canals, roads, building foundations and terraced agricultural land. The University of Houston archaeologists who led the expedition will reveal their new images and discuss them today (May 15) at the American Geophysical Union Meeting of the Americas in Cancun.



Lidar images of Honduras lost city
Square structures may mark the foundations of ancient buildings in the Honduran rainforest.
CREDIT: UTL Scientific, LLC

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