Some time ago, I came across a very interesting project, that analyzes various Maya settlements and displays them on maps. In fact, it does a lot more, for example providing digital data of around 6.000 ancient Maya sites, calling it “The Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites (EAMMS): a Geographic Information System (GIS)”. Furthermore, that data allows the scientists to display theories about political structure and settlement patterns in Yucatan, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The website of the project is http://mayagis.smv.org/.
Especially interesting for us non-scientists, there exists a Google Earth file, that allows us to see all the Maya sites in our Google Earth client. For the KMZ-file, please visit the Google Earth gallery or use the link to the file from the Author’s website.
The file contains five layers of data, corresponding to five different sizes of Maya settlements, with 1 being the largest and 5 being the smallest.
This data brings us closer to the life of the ancient cultures and gives us a great way to compare it to nowadays distribution of settlements. It’s really worth having a look at Google Earth and the rest of the information provided on the site.