Researchers Uncover 2,000-Year-Old Maya Water Filtration System

The city of Tikal purified one of its reservoirs with technology comparable to modern systems


(Smithsonian Magazine, Nov. 2 - 2020)


More than 2,000 years ago, the Maya built a complex water filtration system out of materials collected miles away. Now, reports Michelle Starr for Science Alert, researchers conducting excavations at the ancient city of Tikal in northern Guatemala have discovered traces of this millennia-old engineering marvel.


As detailed in the journal Scientific Reports, the study’s authors found that the Maya built the Corriental reservoir filtration system as early as 2,185 years ago, not long after settlement of Tikal began around 300 B.C.


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