Researchers shot lasers into a jungle in Mexico and discovered an ancient Mayan highway there, reported the Miami Herald.
A small drone buzzed over the jungles and farms of southern Mexico, firing laser beams into the foliage and fields below.
When the beams reached the ground, they bounced back, providing a measurement of distance between the drone and the surface
After repeating this process—known as Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR—over two dozen acres in the Yucatan Peninsula, researchers used the data to create a three-dimensional map.
The topographic map revealed a long line cutting through the fields and forests. It turned out to be an ancient Mayan highway, known as a sacbé.
The sacbé, which means white road in Mayan, is about 16 feet wide and stretches across 11 miles of the Yucatan.
Dating to around 700 A.D., the causeway linked the ancient cities of Kabah and Uxmal for several hundred years, officials said.
The centuries-old road had long been the subject of legend, which was kept alive by the descendants of the Mayans. This knowledge was passed along to a priest in the 19th century, who recorded the existence of numerous Mayan ruins.
The recently discovered causeway will be rehabilitated in order to help local communities reconnect with their heritage, officials said.