Ancient Mayan societies built sophisticated water filters using materials used in modern purification systems


lmost 2,000 years ago, the ancient Maya living in what is now known as Guatemala were filtering drinking water with a sophisticated number of compounds still used in modern commercial filters.

In the once-bustling city of Tikal — the ruins of which still stand in rainforests in northern Guatemala — the Mayan people used natural materials imported from miles away in order to remove impurities from water.

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati discovered evidence of an ancient filter system at the region’s Corriental reservoir, which was an important source of drinking water for the Maya.


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