Using Lasers to Reveal the Secrets of Lost Civilizations

In a world that consistently threatens humans’ valuable archaeological heritage, new digital preservation technologies can offer a small (very, very small) comfort. CyArk, a nonprofit organization in California, has digitally captured many sites and objects through LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data. The three-dimensional scanned images are helping the island’s modern inhabitants record their cultural history for posterity—and aiding researchers in their study of the past.

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