LIDAR scanning has recently become cost-effective enough for archaeologists to use on large historical sites, and they're taking full advantage. A helicopter jaunt last year has revealed a massive urban site below the jungles near Angkor Wat in Cambodia that likely housed thousands of people. New canals, temples and other man-made structures were discovered during a two-day scan, which emitted up to 200,000 laser pulses per second and would have taken years if done by traditional excavation methods. The technique can scope out features as small as a footprint, and is also being used in cities around the Egyptian pyramids and other archaeologically interesting regions -- marking another way that Indy-style archeologists are becoming obsolete.
Source: MIT Technology Review