Finding a lost city, and also a flesh-eating illness, with douglas preston – the verge

In January, author Douglas Preston released his latest book, The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story. Facebook live for android In 2015, Preston had been part of an expedition to Honduras that located an unexplored city deep in the rain forests of the country, one that belonged to an as-of-yet unknown civilization.

The book deals with the history of efforts to explore the legendary “White City,” and more recent efforts from archeologists to track down its location. Softball savings The site had first been located in 2012 when archeologists used Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) surveys to explore the dense jungle. Espn fantasy football draft rankings The system works by using lasers to calculate distances: it’s been used in everything self-driving cars to astronauts mapping the Moon. Football rankings In recent years, archeologists have begun using the technology to survey archeological sites from planes, often discovering structures that can’t be seen from the ground.

When Preston accompanied a team of archeologists to explore the city on foot, they found an undisturbed set of ruins overrun by the forest, likely untouched since it was abandoned. Espn fantasy football app The cities belonged to a previously unknown civilization, and the reasons for its collapse aren’t known, although Preston speculates that the apocalyptic pandemics could have played a role.

The site was not without dangers: the city is located in a region controlled by drug cartels, while deadly snakes and forest creatures roam the jungle. Frances bean cobain age The peril continued even after they departed: the team discovered that while on site, they had been infected by a flesh-eating parasite.

While doing aerial reconnaissance of Mosquitia, back in 2012, our expedition team spied gigantic sinkholes and monumental cave openings in an exceedingly remote area of rugged karst topography east of the Patuca River, near the Nicaraguan border. Baseball america top 100 prospects 2016 The only way to get into this area would be by rappelling down from a hovering chopper. Rawlings Clearly an extensive cavern system lies in this area, and our research indicates it has never been entered or explored in modern times. Drip coffee grind Because the ancient inhabitants of the region buried their dead in caves, these caverns likely hide major necropolises, ossuaries, and other archaeological treasures. Polyester fabric It has been alleged that during the Contra war people were thrown out of helicopters into these gaping sinkholes, so there may be more awaiting the explorer than prehistoric burials.

Other scientifically unexplored areas where there might be undiscovered ruins include the deeper parts of the Amazon and the heavily forested mountains in the central highlands of Peru. Pixel pitch Finally, most of the sea bed has never been explored and there are many shipwrecks and natural wonders to be found.

You use the first part of the book to explore some of the history of the region and how this city has been seeped in local legend. Landscape ontario jobs It’s fascinating how impenetrable this part of the world is. Small garden design plans How much did geography and terrain help shield the ruins?

Geography — natural and human — has everything to do with why the city remained undiscovered. Softball camps In this area, some of the thickest rain forest on Earth covers precipitous mountain chains, some over a mile high, with roaring torrents, frequent landslides, steep ravines, waterfalls, pools of quick mud that will swallow a person alive, and noxious insects carrying diseases. College softball scores The understory is infested with deadly snakes, jaguars, and thickets of catclaw vines with hooked thorns that tear at flesh and clothing. Fantasy football news In Mosquitia, an experienced group of explorers, well equipped with machetes and saws, can expect to journey two to three miles in a brutal 10-hour day. Pitch diameter chart The towns and rural areas surrounding the jungle are largely controlled by drug cartels, with a murder rate that is the highest in the world. Facebook search The fierce physical terrain, combined with surrounding lawlessness and violence, have protected this area for centuries.

Archaeologists cringe for good reason. Ancestry reviews Until recently, many archaeologists were shockingly insensitive and arrogant in the way they conducted fieldwork, riding roughshod over the feelings, religious beliefs, and traditions of indigenous people. Garden inspiration They dug up burials without permission, put human remains and sensitive grave goods on public display in museums, hauled off sacred objects to which they had no legal right of ownership. Youth basketball teams near me Today the profession has reacted against this dark history and tried to make fundamental changes in the way they conduct fieldwork and work with local people.

I might add that the expedition chronicled in my book had 12 PhD scientists on it, including three top archaeologists. Facebook live shooting While the spectacular discovery of a lost city and the “curse” that afflicted the expedition has a crazy Indiana Jones flavor to it, this was a serious and careful scientific expedition. El patio miami UTL, LLC/BENENSON Productions NCALM

A major component of the exploration here was LIDAR. Wild pitch You talk a bit about how it’s been used to uncover other ruins around the world: how do you see its use in transforming our understanding of the past?

To give one example: in one week of surveying the Maya city of Caracol with LIDAR, archaeologists uncovered tens of thousands of archaeological features that had not been found in 25 years of intensive ground surveys. Garden layout app The first LIDAR survey of the Mexican site of Angamuco uncovered 20,000 previously undiscovered features, including entire pyramids missed by the ground surveys! Mark my words: when the Amazon Basin and the highlands of Peru are surveyed with LIDAR, we can expect spectacular, incredible, and mind-boggling discoveries to be made. Irrigation supply store LIDAR will open up the rain forest like a book, which we can then read with ease.

The LIDAR machine we used cost about a million dollars, but even if the price of the machine goes down, the expense of flying the specially modified plane will not. Landscape photography tips Some of the hardware in the LIDAR box is classified, and we had to hire armed soldiers to guard our plane 24/7 while it was on the ground, which was an additional expense. Facebook mobile login page p Just getting in and out of these remote areas by aircraft is pricey and dangerous.

As might be expected with any disruptive technology, some of the old guard has resisted and even condemned it. Garden of words manga Rosemary Joyce, a distinguished archaeologist at UC Berkeley, wrote that “LIDAR can produce images of landscapes faster than people walking the same area, and with more detail. Mountain landscape But that is not good archaeology, because all it produces is a discovery—not knowledge… [LIDAR] may be good science—but it is bad archaeology.”

On the other hand, younger archaeologists are all over LIDAR. Francesca battistelli write your story They absolutely love it. How to pitch a slider One young archaeologist, who was using LIDAR to map Native American sites in Maine, told me: “LIDAR is crack!” Dave Yoder / National Geographic Magazine

Let’s talk about the city that you guys discovered. Daily fantasy baseball After finding it with LIDAR, you had to ground truth it. Beach landscape What was it like standing in a place that you know (or believe) hasn’t been visited for centuries?

I can recall the very moment when we stumbled over the cache of sculptures at the base of an earthen pyramid. Facebook desktop site I first saw a carved jaguar head coming out of the ground. Softball logos Gleaming with rain, it rose up snarling, as if struggling to escape the earth. Garden bed ideas for front of house It was an image that spoke directly to me across the centuries — forging an immediate, emotional connection to these vanished people. Fencing classes What had been theoretical for me became real: this spirited image had been created by people who were confident, accomplished, and formidable. Pinch hitter 3 unblocked Standing in the gloom among the ancient mounds, enveloped in the mist, I could almost feel the presence of the invisible dead.

The stone artifacts are beautifully preserved. Pictures of decks The great temples and public buildings of this lost civilization, however, were built out of adobe, beautifully polished tropical hardwoods, and draped with spectacular textiles — all perishable materials. What does pitch mean in science Their buildings and cities may well have been just as magnificent as the cut-stone temples of the Maya. Arizona spring training But once abandoned, they dissolved in the rain and rotted away, leaving behind unimpressive mounds of dirt and rubble that were swallowed by vegetation. Ultimate college softball In the acidic rain forest soils, no organic remains survive — not even the bones of the dead. Small house design ideas interior So in that sense it is not well preserved. Outdoor research military However, the city was pristine and unlooted, which is exceedingly rare for any site in Central America.

The most spectacular discovery was the cache of sculptures found at the base of a pyramid. Michigan softball roster In a broad hollow area, just poking out of the ground, we came across the tops of dozens of extraordinary carved stone sculptures — 52 in all. Baseball diamond layout The objects, glimpsed among leaves and vines, and carpeted with moss, took shape in the forest twilight: the jaguar head mentioned above, great stone jars carved with vultures, snakes and monkeys, objects that looked like thrones or tables, many with carvings along the rims and legs. Football scores high school These sculptures were in beautiful condition and had probably been lying undisturbed since they had been left centuries ago — until we stumbled across them.

Excavation of the cache revealed it was vast: over 500 sculptures and fragments, with many more still buried as of this writing. Small front garden ideas They had all been left at the same time when the city was abandoned, many ritually broken to release their spirits, a common practice for objects placed in a grave. Espn fantasy football mock draft 2015 But this cache was not the grave of a person — it was the grave of the entire city. How to make curtains Archaeologists theorize that a mysterious a catastrophe struck the city, killing most of the inhabitants. Backyard baseball 2005 The survivors gathered up all their sacred objects, placed them as an offering to their gods, and walked away — never to return. Facebook logout My book explores the cataclysm that destroyed the city and, in fact, shattered the entire civilization.

The excavations are temporarily suspended, but the site is still being guarded by soldiers. Spring training schedule The city is vast; over a mile square. How to build a deck Only about 40 square meters have been excavated down to a depth of only 18 inches. How to build a fence on a slope There is a lot more work to be done, if it is done at all. Fantasy football sleepers (There are excellent arguments for not excavating the rest of the city.) Either way, research on the site will go on for many years, if not centuries.

Mucosal leishmaniasis struck down two-thirds of the expedition — Hondurans, Americans and Brits alike. Drip drop It is a very persistent disease, a flesh-eating parasite that attacks the face and eventually causes your lips and nose to slough off, leaving a weeping sore where your face used to be. High pitched noise in house (I would not recommend Googling pictures of the disease!) It has returned in a number of people. Drip coffee ratio But we are getting the best medical care in the world from doctors at the National Institutes of Health, who are studying us and our disease, which appears to be a unique form. Basketball wives season 5 episode 1 It makes for a fascinating medical mystery.

You’re the brother of Richard Preston, who famously wrote The Hot Zone and several other books. College softball cheers What was his take on this disease? You spend some time at the end of the book examining the disease and how it’s becoming more prevalent.

My brother and I both have an interest in exotic and gruesome diseases. Youth baseball tournaments (As children we were often sent away from the dinner for telling disgusting stories.) Richard was shocked and concerned when he learned I had the disease. Fantasy football rankings week 5 He’s writing another book about Ebola and had to be quarantined for three weeks after returning from a research trip to Sierra Leone, during the Ebola outbreak, but thank God he’s never gotten that disease. Sales pitch examples It is, of course, much worse than leish.

Yes, without hesitation. Fences windows 10 It is a remarkable and breathtaking wilderness, unlike any other place I’ve seen. Lattice degeneration causes I’ve already got leish so I can’t get it again! Of course, there are other diseases, not to mention the snakes, but nothing truly worth accomplishing is without risk.

It is incredible to think that a lost city could still be found in the 21st century, but that is precisely what happened. Florida baseball teams People feel the world has shrunk. Softball sales com We have trodden upon, mapped, photographed, and exploited every place on Earth to the point where it feels like we’ve robbed the world of its mystery. Netafim usa But this discovery puts some of that mystery back. Minor league baseball florida It proves we don’t know everything, and it shows us there are still places on Earth that are indifferent, hostile, or even inimical, to human beings. Backyard landscaping ideas on a budget Mosquitia is one such place.