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Archaeologist uses satellite imagery to explore ancient Mexico
Date:5/13/2008

kilometers will help Middleton identify different plant species, environments and ecosystems, and acres of arable land or mineral resources surrounding particular sites.

We can start looking at the relationship between ancient cities and ancient human settlements in a way that no one has really been able to do before, Middleton says.

The new landscape map will also show how development has changed the region since the first survey conducted 30 years ago.

We will be able to compare the then-and-now images and be able to make a very good assessment of what we have lost in the past several decades as a result of development, Middleton says.

Another aspect of the NASA-funded project will focus on environmental change. This part of the study, done in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Colorado at Boulder will analyze plant microfossils in sediment samples collected from a variety of locations, including areas where streams expose sediment layers 10,000 years old.

Roughly 10,000 years ago, Oaxaca was wetter than it is today, Middleton says. Today its classified as semi-arid, and the dominant vegetation in the valley is thorn-scrub forest. Ten thousand years ago, it was a grassland and there were horses there.


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Contact: Susan Gawlowicz
smguns@rit.edu
585-475-5061
Rochester Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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