July 31, 2012 10:32
For more than three centuries the Maya created a number of large settlements in Central America.
Existing from the VII century BC and abandoned in the X century AD, Tikal was one of the centers of culture and mayanskoy boasted a population of 100 to 200 thousand inhabitants.
Archaeologists have long been concerned with the question about the life of the ancient metropolis, and in particular the behavior of the water system. Although the city began to explore in the XIX century, only now have found an ancient dam, which, according to American archaeologists, providing water inhabitants.
In an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the features of the ancient building.
The dam, built of hewn stone, gravel and earth, is almost 80 meters long and 10 meters in height. According to experts, it can provide storage for more than 4.5 thousand cubic meters of water.
It is noteworthy that the Maya cared about cleanliness: before you get to the tank, the water passes through the ditches filled with quartz sand.
Archaeologists point out, with what foresight and technical literacy to build a dam.
"Maya developed a unique system to collect rainwater, given the complexity of such as seasonal rainfall, as well as proximity to water pyramids and residential designs — says Professor Vernon Scarborough (Vernon Scarborough) at the University of Cincinnati. — Even modern professionals have a lot to learn from the ancient engineers. "
In addition to the dam has been made yet another no less impressive find, owned the Mayan culture. 20 kilometers west of Tikal in tropical rain forests of Guatemala is El settlement Soc (El Zotz).
Although the settlement was not as populated as Tikal, it is noteworthy that in 2010, there was discovered a 13-meter pyramid, the top of which is the tomb of the ruler, who lived during the years 350-400 AD.
El study Soc began only in the second half of the XX century, and the settlement still holds many secrets, with the latest finding.
Studying the pyramid, archaeologists stumbled upon an ancient temple, decorated with numerous images height of 1.5 meters. Made of plaster mask images are different incarnations of the god of the sun.
One mask — akulopodobnaya, represents the Sun rising from the Caribbean. Noon depicted as cross-eyed bloodsucker Kinich Ahau (Kinich Ahau). The latest series of masks illustrates twilight predator — the jaguar, is remarkable in that it hunts after sunset and before sunrise. Archaeologists say that never before had they not seen a different image of the god of the sun in one location.
It is also interesting that the masks have traces of red pigment, and are a relief, much speaking of the building facade. Experts say that it is not often possible to find similar finds in good condition, since as a rule, they are quickly destroyed.
However, the detailed study of the mask showed that the Maya for generations made new layers, change the old image. As suggested by Stephen Houston (Stephen Houston) from Brown University, such is common to the whole culture of the Maya. Scientists call it "decontamination" of the former governor.
The preliminary conclusion of researchers is that the finding is related to the church crypt. It is likely that in a pyramid buried the founder of the dynasty of local rulers, and the temple represents its relationship with the sun god.