A New Discovery
Dr. Kenneth Tankersley, an Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati, was digging at the Corrierntal reservoir when he made a fascinating discovery. Along with a team of archeologists also exploring the Maya city of Tikal, they found what looked like a water purification system. The great city of Tikal, which is now northern Guatemala, is sat on porous limestone which would have made it difficult for wells. It seems as though the Mayans had their own idea…
Clean Drinking Water
Within the reservoir, the team found crystalline quartz and zeolite, which are not local to the area. This means that people would have had to bring these minerals a long way to create a fascinating water purification system. The quartz and zeolite combined together was used to remove pathogens from the water supply, including heavy metals and nitrogen-rich compounds. There’s also the possibility that it was used to remove bacteria, which would mean that the Maya people may have understood the germ theory of disease long before anyone else.
Ahead of Their Time
What is even more interesting, is that this water purification system was way ahead of anything that the Europeans created 1,500 years later when they conquered the area. In fact, Dr. Tankersley believes that the system would be just as effective today, despite being discovered over 2,000 years ago. Yet another example of the Maya people being lightyears ahead of their time.
It’s certainly an interesting discovery in a city that probably has many other secrets to discover beneath the surface. We wonder what else they’ll find in Tikal!