It’s an ancient world, deep underground in Honduras. And a team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers is on a mission to recreate a Mayan temple using state-of-the-art technology. Working with partners in Honduras, the research team also hopes to preserve the centuries old building for generations to come. Researchers spent several weeks at the archeological site last summer.
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[00:00:00.092](rhythmic drum music)
[00:00:03.830]The tunnels are hot and humid
[00:00:05.460]with poor air flow, but that didn't stop researchers
[00:00:08.107]from spending hours underground in Honduras.
[00:00:12.460]90 Degrees Fahrenheit with a 90% humidity,
[00:00:16.310]so an extremely large heat index.
[00:00:18.860]They are studying Rosalila,
[00:00:20.710]an ancient Mayan temple that dates back
[00:00:22.890]to the seventh century.
[00:00:24.410]The temple is buried under the archeological site known
[00:00:27.480]as Copan a once bustling Mayan city.
[00:00:30.870]Rosalila is a model for understanding
[00:00:34.047]early classic structures throughout the Maya world,
[00:00:37.470]not just at Copan, right?
[00:00:38.580]Because it's so unique.
[00:00:39.940]A museum reproduction
[00:00:41.220]shows the temple's elaborate imagery and brilliant colors.
[00:00:45.110]The ancient Maya preserved Rosalila leaving it
[00:00:48.040]for archeologists to discover hundreds of years later
[00:00:51.470]while building excavation tunnels.
[00:00:53.770]A 3D scanner technology called LIDAR helps researchers
[00:00:57.620]map the tunnels.
[00:00:59.320]The key aspect of the LIDAR was, you know,
[00:01:02.520]the accuracy and the locations of all these tunnels
[00:01:06.941]and using this technology enables you to get
[00:01:10.280]that precise positioning.
[00:01:12.280]The project helps researchers learn more about
[00:01:14.930]the temple and better see cracks and other damage.
[00:01:18.820]We can see this degradation.
[00:01:20.620]And so now what we're trying to do
[00:01:22.180]from the engineering perspective is understand
[00:01:24.810]what are the primary contributors
[00:01:26.610]so that we can best make recommendations and suggestions
[00:01:30.250]and work with conservationists
[00:01:32.500]to preserve this really unique structure.
[00:01:35.350]The multidisciplinary project
[00:01:37.200]puts cutting-edge technology to work to preserve
[00:01:40.140]and understand the past.
[00:01:42.200]We're working together across disciplines, you know,
[00:01:44.540]engineers working with an archeologist or bringing together,
[00:01:48.220]you know, some hard science,
[00:01:49.720]right with the material aspects of it.
[00:01:51.240]We're bringing into the humanities.
[00:01:52.740]We're bringing in social sciences.
[00:01:54.050]It's a very, I think, exciting project that allows you
[00:01:57.330]to learn new technologies that are useful
[00:01:59.910]in many, many fields in a research project
[00:02:02.382]that is quite unique.
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