NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE DOCUMENTATION AND PRESERVATION OF THE MAYA CULTURAL HERITAGE. THE PALACE OF THE GOVERNOR AT UXMAL (YUCATÁN, MEXICO)
One of the major challenges currently facing the architectural and archaeological heritage in subtropical World Heritage sites is its preventive conservation. Many of these sites are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of natural disasters and climate change. The risk is compounded by the fact that several of them are among the most iconic places in the world, and so they also face the threat of the excessive growth of visitors. What is more, in earlier times many were restored with unsuitable materials or using inappropriate techniques which have heightened the risk they face today. However, thanks to the new digital technologies of architectural documentation involving the use of laser scanner and photogrammetry, applied in combination with traditional systems, the current state of the buildings can be documented and evaluated thoroughly and accurately. The information obtained can help to guide the choice of the measures and actions needed to prevent, or at least minimize, future deterioration or loss. An example of a project of this kind is the documentation work we are currently carrying out at the Palace of the Governor, an exceptional 98 m long building from the Late Classic period, located in the Maya city of Uxmal (Yucatán, Mexico). The palace is situated in a prominent position on a large, elevated platform. The results of this research are the subject of this paper.