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The Maya - BBC Report

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by blackbutterfly, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Location:
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    This new 'Lidar-mapping' technique is, basically, increasing the archeologists' list of Projects a 1000-fold. Anyone specializing in Mayan sites is now trying to figure out how to make sure their son/daughter and their grandsons and granddaughters can carry on the work, because just examining all the potential sites they've found already will take years and tens of thousands of hours of work.

    But there's already enough in the preliminary survey to change a lot about what we thought we knew about Mayan engineering, architecture, agriculture, hydrology, and political organization - they were organizing, managing, and feeding a much larger population than anyone ever imagined before this!
     
    steveg700 likes this.
  2. steveg700

    steveg700 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
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    Interesting parallel with Cambodia far across the world. Both inhospitable places where life seems to have thrived for a time. And both demonstrate how fragile life is, given that despite extensive infrastructure most of the traces of those civilizations vanished into obscurity for centuries. Perfect candidates for an expansion christened "Rise & Fall", but doggone it they just weren't outre enough to make the cut.

    With the Khmer, the design generated a pretty indistinct civ that had no special proclivity for marshes or jungles. Maybe Maya will be better served and give us an ideal jungle-settling science civ.

    Truly, they are among the Worthy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  3. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    816
    Location:
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    Yes, the Mayan Project is the second major survey with Lidar that has turned up major new developments in our understanding of 'jungle-based' civilizations. But there's more. In Mann's "1491" book on Pre-Columbian settlement and technology in the Americas, he points out a couple of intriguing developments in South American archeological/scientific studies:
    1. There are 'platforms' in the Amazon jungle with soil that was Manufactured out of charcoal and organic material, so that it is much, much richer than anything found elsewhere in the rainforest - which, notoriously, has very poor soil due to the abundant plant life 'leaching' all the nutrients out of it. We still don't know exactly how they did it, but Somebody living in the Amazon rainforest had and applied agricultural technology not found anywhere else in the world.
    2. A large percentage of the trees in the Amazon rainforest do not follow a natural pattern of growth - they were planted. Somebody was cultivating the rainforest to produce better and more useful Yields of berries, nuts, fruits, and other materials.

    In other words, we need to seriously revise our understanding of just how much 'marginal' environments could be transformed by Pre-Industrial cultures - and, hopefully, apply that understanding to Civ games, among other things!
     
    steveg700 likes this.

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