Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Scientists Use Lasers To Map An Ancient City In Jordan

30 May 2018

Scientists beamed down lasers on the ancient city of Jerash in Jordan, mapping the site and then comparing it with historic photos to show what remains — and what has been subsumed by the growing modern city.

Jerash is world famous, and one of the most popular tourist sites in Jordan. It has long streets and a plaza lined with Greco-Roman columns. The site also boasts two amphitheaters, a hippodrome, temples and churches.

In other words: "Fantastic monumental architecture that's still largely preserved," said archeologist David Stott from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Stott was one of the researchers that used laser pulses from an aircraft to create a precise 3D map of the site. The technology known as LiDAR, short for "Light Detection and Ranging," has revolutionized archaeology by allowing scientists to map large areas with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Recently, scientists using LiDAR discovered 60,000 Maya structures in a forest in northern Guatemala.

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