US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — For several centuries, the city of Tikal was considered one of the largest and most important urban centers that Maya has ever been built.
But at the end of the 9th century AD, the Mayans left this magnificent city. At the same time, other large cities were abandoned. After the experts conducted another analysis of the Tikal reservoirs, it was possible to establish why then it was abandoned.
Scientists from the University of Cincinnati conducted an analysis of deposits found in reservoirs in the ancient city, which is located on the territory of modern Guatemala. In the composition of the deposits, toxic substances were discovered, due to which the water of Tikal became unusable.
For a huge city where droughts are constantly observed, and there are no lakes or rivers nearby, pollution of this nature could become simply catastrophic and lead to the death of a large number of people. In order to obtain more information on sediments, experts took samples from ten different city reservoirs.
A DNA test was carried out that was still present in the old mud. Experts found traces of two different types of cyanobacteria. Planktothrix and Microcystis could cause a strong bloom of water during droughts, which were especially strong right at the end of the 9th century AD.
Kenneth Tankersley says that the water looked not only dirty, but it tasted terrible. Bacteria present in water have become a source of toxic substances. In addition, using a detailed analysis, a rather high level of mercury in the sediment was also detected. Mercury could fall into the water along with volcanic ash or from rocks that were under water.
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