3D “scans” of entire thatch-roofed Mayan house architecture in Guatemala

Posted January 8, 2016

Using a drone and a drone pilot, we have both video and digital photographs of a dozen different thatch-roofed Mayan houses in the Q’eqchi’ Mayan area of Guatemala, Central America.

We took two 4WD double-cabin pickup trucks with a team of 10 of us from FLAAR Mesoamerica, and spent five days exploring the remote jungle-covered mountain areas of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

We found houses with roofs out of “banana leaves” (banana is not native but there are a dozen species of native heliconia plants which have leaves of similar size and shape). These platinillo leaves are used for thatching in remote areas. 99% of thatched houses are of palm fronds, so finding houses of ak (grass-like material) or platinillo (banana-like leaves) is extremely rare). All recent houses have modern roofs of tin sheets, even if the houses themselves are still of horizontal wooden poles.

We will be showing the results of the 3-dimensional studies of Mayan house architecture in the coming months, on our web site.