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Archaeological evidence for ancient Maya water management: the case of Nakum, Petén, Guatemala

  • Jarosław Źrałka (a1) and Wiesław Koszkul (a1)

Abstract

Maya cities are known to have managed water; their existence in areas prone to seasons of excessive rainfall and long dry spells demanded it, but have these systems of water channels, aqueducts and reservoirs been viewed simply as utilitarian civil engineering? Recent excavations at the Maya site of Nakum in north-east Guatemala have revealed that the Maya might have had a more nuanced and symbolic approach to water and its management, one that reflected their belief system, replicated their interpretation of the cosmos and facilitated the use of water in ritual architecture and the display of power.

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