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Now Available – Google Street Views of Ancient Mayan Sites

August 25, 2012

Armchair traveling just got more technologically sophisticated according to a Los Angeles Times story — Google Street Views now include some ancient Mayan archaeological sites:

For travelers who’ve never been to the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza, a virtual window into the site’s pyramids and plazas is available online, among 30 archaeological zones in Mexico now mapped by history’s greatest peeping Tom: Google Street View.

From the comfort of a computer, any Internet user anywhere can now zoom in and examine the perfect form of Chichen Itza’s Kukulkan pyramid, known also El Castillo, or the Castle.

On Google Street View, a viewer can almost feel like they might tumble into the Sacred Cenote, or natural sinkhole, where Maya priests practiced ritual sacrifice. Or imagine cavorting on the Plaza of the Thousand Columns. Or maybe do some souvenir browsing, up close and in intensely high resolution.

Google and Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, announced the new maps last week. Using a 360-degree camera mounted on a bicycle, Google captured “street views” of other major archaeological sites in Mexico, such as Monte Alban in Oaxaca and Teotihuacan outside Mexico City.

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