Lidar mapping and surface survey of the Izapa state on the tropical piedmont of Chiapas, Mexico
Recent lidar and pedestrian surface surveys have remapped the well-known Mesoamerican site of Izapa and the surrounding Soconusco piedmont. These data document: 1) occupation from the surrounding piedmont environment, 2) significantly larger estimates of the site's size during both the Formative and Classic periods as well as 3) new architectural features from the monumental site core. Methodological issues are outlined for combining high precision lidar mapping with ground truthing and pedestrian survey that focuses on surface collection of temporally diagnostic artifacts. Results are presented for 670 mounds documented in an area of 43.1 sq km in and around the ancient capital of Izapa. âº We use lidar to detect 670 Prehispanic mounds in and around Izapa, Chiapas, Mexico. âº We follow-up with a pedestrian survey in a 43.1 sq km area if the Soconusco piedmont. âº Regional results show settlement peaks in the Middle Formative and Late Classic periods. âº Izapa's extents are doubled for the Formative and tripled for the Classic period. âº New architectural features detected from the site core: plaza by the river and E-Group.