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Laser scans uncover vast Mayan cities under Guatemalan jungles

Mayan temple
An archaeological site in the Petén region of Guatemale. Photo: De Agostini / Getty Images

Archaeologists have used LiDAR — light detection and ranging — technology to digitally remove trees from aerial shots of northern Guatemalan jungles and reveal centuries-old Mayan ruins, reports National Geographic.

What they found: A vast network of cities with 60,000 houses, palaces and elevated highways that may have housed 10 to 15 million people at the civilization's peak — that's millions more people than researchers previously thought lived in the area.