Mayan City Had Sophisticated Water Purification System
The ancient city of Tikal, located in Guatemala, has long fascinated scientists with its clues to how the ancient Maya people lived and constructed their cities.
TIKAL, GUATEMALA — The ancient Mayan city of Tikal, located in Guatemala, has long fascinated scientists with its clues to how the ancient Maya people lived and constructed their cities.
Now a team of researchers found evidence that the Mayans had managed to build a sophisticated water purification system in Tikal — over 2,000 years ago.
The team published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.
According to the lead researcher, Kenneth Tankersley of the University of Cincinnati, the purification system was so advanced that it would still be effective today.
The system used a limestone wall with holes in it, as well as layers of woven plant fibers, to hold back the core filtration system, which is a wall of sand filled with quarts and zeolite particles.
This sandy mixture of quarts and zeolite acts as a very effective molecular sieve, which would trap the harmful heavy metals, microbes and toxins, while letting the water seep through.
According to the researchers, this type of water purification system would have been very important when building a city in the jungle, where rivers often produce harmful and deadly bacteria.
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