Photo: El Tajin archaeological site (INAH)
Mexican experts have discovered structures more than 1,000 years old hidden under vegetation and sediments in the El Tajin archaeological site by using remote sensing technology, authorities on the subject said.
Archaeologists came upon three pre-Columbian ballgame courts, a pair of constructions called “balconies” and an area of living quarters in El Tajin on the Gulf coast of Veracruz, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said in a communique.
El Tajin researcher Guadalupe Zetina said that two years after introducing this technology to the study of pre-Columbian sites in Mexico, it has turned up its first results with the detection of these new, unexplored structures.
The specialist in the geographic information system, or GIS, and remote sensing said that finding these three new ballgame courts on the south and north sides of the site brings the number of such structures in El Tajin to 20.
This technology, which is being applied at archaeological sites in Egypt and the United States, consists of a combination of three techniques.
The big three are orthophotographs (aerial photos geometrically corrected to eliminate distance errors caused by the curvature of the Earth); LIDaR, or laser imaging, detection and ranging; and thermography, an infrared imaging system used to determine stages of construction and cracks within structures.