Reports

A Water Storage Adaptation in the Maya Lowlands

Science  08 Feb 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4994, pp. 658-662
DOI: 10.1126/science.251.4994.658

Abstract

Prehispanic water management in the Maya Lowlands emphasized collection and storage rather than the canalization and diversion accentuated in highland Mexico. Reexamination of site maps of the ancient Maya city of Tikal, Guatemala, has revealed an important, overlooked factor in Maya centralization and urban settlement organization. In a geographical zone affected by an extended dry season and away from permanent water sources, large, well-planned reservoirs provided resource control as well as political leverage.

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