Currently Reading Foreign Policy Magazine December, 2012

I ran across this 5-Star article in Foreign Policy entitled The Design And Fall of Civilizations. I encourage all our readers to read this (it’s only two pages but well worth it). The article details the use of a new mapping tool called “light detection and ranging technology, or lidar. Basically the lidar technology revealed 90 percent more than what the husband and wife team of Arlen and Diane Chase had found in the Mayan city of Caracol in over 25 years. The lidar technology took approximately 9 hours to discover an additional 200 kilometers of ruins.

lidat.png (825×464)

An excerpt from the article:

“Why does all this matter to the rest of us? Understanding how ancient civilizations organized themselves and why they collapsed is crucial to understanding many of the challenges we face today. The inhabitants of Mosquitia experienced a decline around the 13th century, a few hundred years after their more famous neighbor—the Maya—utterly collapsed never to rise again. Long a mystery, the Maya collapse now appears to have been caused by environmental degradation and the growth of a wealthy class that hogged an ever-larger share of a dwindling pool of resources. Does this sound familiar?”


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