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Archaeologists have discovered the oldest pressurized water system in the New World

 
Anonymous Coward
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05/08/2010 08:14 AM
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Archaeologists have discovered the oldest pressurized water system in the New World
[link to www.dallasnews.com]

LOS ANGELES – Archaeologists have discovered the oldest pressurized water system in the New World, a system of aqueducts and tunnels in southern Mexico that probably powered a fountain or a wastewater system.

Such pressurized water systems appeared in the Old World at least as long ago as 1400 B.C. But the apparent lack of similar remains in the Americas led most archaeologists to assume that they did not appear here until they were brought by the Spanish in the 16th century.

The new find, in the Maya city of Palenque, which was first occupied about A.D. 100 and abandoned 700 years later, indicates that at least one American culture developed such systems independently.

The aqueduct-tunnel structure was discovered by a graduate student, Kirk French, in 1998 when he was part of a team mapping the city's ruins, but he did not immediately recognize its significance. It was only when French, now at Penn State University, consulted hydrologist Christopher Duffy of Penn State and the pair returned to the site that they appreciated the structure's importance, he said.

The Maya, who developed excellent systems for controlling the flow of water, built many underground aqueducts at Palenque to control flooding during the rainy season.

The aqueduct in question, however, is unique, the researchers reported in the current issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. The cross-section is about 10 square feet for most of its length, but a sharp constriction near its end reduces the size to about half a square foot.

"It's like putting your thumb on the end of a water hose," French said. "The smaller you make the hole, the farther the water goes."

Duffy calculated that the pressure increase caused by the constriction was sufficient to force water 20 feet into the air.

The pair do not know what the water pressure was used for. But a fountain is probably the best bet, French said.
GUANO

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05/08/2010 08:18 AM
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Re: Archaeologists have discovered the oldest pressurized water system in the New World
ALIEN TECHNOLOGY!!!!

alien16
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