Skip to comments.Ancient Mayans Likely Had Fountains and Toilets
Posted on 12/23/2009 6:54:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The ancient Mayans may have had enough engineering know-how to master running water, creating fountains and even toilets by controlling water pressure, scientists now suggest... Scientists investigated the Mayan center at Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico. At its height, this major site, inhabited from roughly 100 to 800 AD, had some 1,500 structures -- residences, palaces, and temples -- holding some 6,000 inhabitants under a series of powerful rulers. The center at Palenque also had what was arguably the most unique and intricate system of water management known anywhere in the Maya lowlands. These involved elaborate subterranean aqueducts to deal with the spring-fed streams that naturally divide the landscape and could otherwise cause flooding or erosion... One peculiar finding at Palenque was a buried, spring-fed conduit some 216 feet long (66 m). While other aqueducts under the site's main plaza stayed relatively level and maintained a roughly constant width, the rectangular conduit was located on a steep slope and abruptly narrowed at its end. Assuming this sloping conduit was smoothly plastered as the aqueducts were at Palenque, the researchers calculated the resulting water pressure could drive a fountain shooting water roughly 20 feet high (6 m)... Running water would have been a luxury, not a necessity. "I actually think that the creation of water pressure at Palenque was a sign of wealth," French said.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
The key was to not mistake one for the other.
I've dropped the lackluster ArchaeoBlog (haven't used anything from it in a year, probably) and dropped in LiveScience
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and since when is digging a scat hole considered a toilet?
You can't undo primitive no matter how hard you try. Yes, feathers and shiny rocks are pretty, but they are not the technologies of men... they do not equate to metallurgy or even the development of the frickin’ wheel...
Give me a break... is Political Correctness dead yet? Didn't we elect a black president or something?
All that, and no use of wheels except on children’s pull toys. Very odd folk.
Thanks! Merry Christmas to you!
You know, this could be a huge discovery!! I’d be willing to bet that the toilets were not low-flow and destroyed their society!
If the Mayans were so friggin’ brilliant, why can’t you find them anymore?
only fountains were the fountains of squirting blood from the Aztec templeThe Aztecs were hundreds of miles and hundreds of years removed from the Mayans; the Aztecs use of water was quite different, they built acres of rafts which supported earthen gardens. It has nothing to do with political correctness, this is just working from evidence.
I’ve never been to Central America, which is where they live. I have met a Mayan before, though.
2banana: the Mayans were no Romans
my small voice: bet that the toilets were not low-flow and destroyed their society!Heh... the Romans used constant flow of water to keep their sewers flowing, and for the rich, to keep their cracks clean.
Nah duh... wow you must be a scholar. Not.
I agree. The Mayans generally used pretty small stones, and there aren’t any post-Columbus eyewitness accounts of their construction techniques; probably used rollers, as other civs did, for the largest stuff. The Egyptians had the wheel, and still were extravagant in their use of labor, such as a Ramses II (if memory serves) statue that is among the largest single pieces of stone ever moved.
Right back at ya, toots.
Square conduits are not good containers of pressure. To get 20 feet you would need about one Bar of pressure, about 15 psi. The narrowing could be construed as a venturi, lot of losses.
The Egyptians had those conveniences thousands of years earlier.
They got destroyed after they implemented mandatory health care. The government witch doctor and death panels prescribed a large amount of human sacrifice and people decided to abandon their leaders....
The Mayans were doing very well for themselves if you’ve ever seen there works. I did while I worked at Tikal. Fascinating structures.
Re Mayan toilets. Now I know what that hole was for - a chultun. Always thought it was for storage. Get that was ancient Mayan poo I stepped in that day.
You want to flush something? Watch a monsoon flush the jungle. There was dry jungle one day. The next day it was a foot deep at the bottom of a 1/4 mile hill. Got trench foot and dysentary from it.
Never wear blue jeans in the jungle. Will give you a rash that would need a blowtorch to dry out.
I devoutly hope the latter weren’t feeding the former.