Water scarcity is not a 21st-century phenomenon. Though there have been many water-related problems linked to global warming, many places in the world have suffered without water even centuries ago. The Mayan civilization was one of them.
For ancient Mayans, water conservation was a very important aspect of their lives. They lived in and around Mexico, Belize and Guatemala where rainfall was quite scarce.
The National Science Foundation-supported research by Jeffrey Brewer, a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati's, and Christopher Carr, UC research assistant professor of geography, are the ones who are involved in this research, as per Examiner.
According to Science Daily, with the help of a surveying technology called Light Detection and Ranging or LiDAR, hundreds of water reservoirs were found at Yaxnohcah, a Mayan site in Central Yucatan. However, as of now, only five of these reservoirs have been excavated. There were some reservoirs found near residential spaces, signifying household accessibilities.
LiDAR is a high-end sensing technology that helps in capturing high-resolution pictures from an airplane at 30,000 points per second. This enables researchers to spot ground surfaces even through thick forests and vegetation.
The ceramic material used to make the reservoirs dates back at around 900 B.C, HNGN noted. It seems like they were arranged with clay plasters that allowed water to be locked in without seeping away.
Jeffrey Brewer also found reservoirs that looked like a quarry for limestone. This spot must have been used for construction, possibly at a nearby residential area. Brewer speculates that the limestone reservoir could hold water for an entire year. This system would have been quite useful for agriculture as well. Future research will study how the water was used for irrigation by the ancient Mayans.
Check out some 25 amazing facts about the Mayans in the video below.
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