Friday, August 22, 2008

Mayan Muons and Unmapped Rooms

In the new issue of Archaeology, Samir S. Patel describes how "an almost featureless aluminum cylinder 5 feet in diameter" that spends its time "silently counting cosmic flotsam called muons" -- "ghost particles" that ceaselessly rain down from space -- will be installed in the jungles of Belize.

There, these machines will map the otherwise unexplored internal spaces of what the scientists call a "jungle-covered mound."

In other words, an ancient building that now appears simply to be part of the natural landscape -- a constructed terrain -- will be opened up to viewing for the first time since it was reclaimed by rain forest.

It's non-invasive archaeology by way of deep space.

This immediately reminded me of possible future exploration of anomalous formations on Mars.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Being an archaeology buff, I found this quite interesting. Thanks, Mac! :o)