Topic ID #21720 - posted 7/23/2012 2:13 AM

Largest ancient dam built by Maya in Central America identified at Tikal



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
Largest ancient dam built by Maya in Central America identified at Tikal

Recent excavations, sediment coring and mapping by a multi-university team led by the University of Cincinnati at the pre-Columbian city of Tikal, a paramount urban centre of the ancient Maya, have identified new landscaping and engineering feats, including the largest ancient dam built by the Maya of Central America.

That dam – constructed from cut stone, rubble and earth – stretched more than 260 feet in length, stood about 33 feet high and held about 20 million gallons of water in a man-made reservoir.

These findings on ancient Maya water and land-use systems at Tikal, located in northern Guatemala, are scheduled to appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in an article titled “Water and Sustainable Land Use at the Ancient Tropical City of Tikal, Guatemala.” The research sheds new light on how the Maya conserved and used their natural resources to support a populous, highly complex society for over 1,500 years despite environmental challenges, including periodic drought.

Read more at Past Horizons here.





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