Radar Observations Show That Mayan Agricultural Centers Are Surrounded by Canals (Great Events from History II: Science and Technology Series)
Article abstract: Radar images indicated the presence of a network of canals in areas surrounding Mayan population centers.
Summary of Event
Like the Aztec and Inca civilizations that had been discovered and documented by Central and South American explorers Hernán Cortés and Francisco Fernández de Córdoba in the 1500’s, the Maya were contacted as early as 1502. After the plundering of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán, near present-day Mexico City, in 1521, the Spanish conquistadors turned their attention south. Cortés sent one of his captains, Pedro de Alvarado, with a small force of Spanish soldiers and a contingent of twenty thousand native troops, and shortly thereafter, Guatemala and San Salvador were under Spanish rule. In addition to the diseases that were introduced to the continent, the conquest also involved the destruction of the Indian identity. This reached its zenith on July 12, 1562, with the destruction of an entire Mayan library of pictographic books and codices by Friar Diego de Landa. The loss to the understanding of this pre-Columbian civilization is rivaled only by the razing of the library at Alexandria, Egypt, in 415 c.e. To date, only four of these volumes are known to remain.
Clashes between the Spanish and various native tribes occurred throughout the entire Central American region and lasted almost twenty years. What was revealed to the Europeans was a vast landscape of empty...
(The entire section is 1674 words.)
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