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IPFS News Link • Anthropology

Ancient Mayans Likely Had Fountains and Toilets

• LiveScience
The ancient Mayans may have had enough engineering know-how to master running water, creating fountains and even toilets by controlling water pressure, scientists now suggest.

Perhaps the earliest known example of the intentional creation of water pressure was found on the island of Crete in a Minoan palace dating back to roughly 1400 BC. In the New World, the ability to generate water pressure was previously thought to have begun only with the arrival of the Spanish. 

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Brock Lorber (11655)
Entered on:

No, Puretrust, "we" don't have any such thing as the engineering know-how to build cars.

There are metallurgists who know the correct proportion of ingredients to add to iron to make steel, but who don't know how to operate the smelters, rollers, and cutters.

There are chemists to make long-lasting rubber compounds that can't tell you the first thing about making tires.

There are ranchers who don't know how to tan hides, tanners with no knowledge of dyes, craftsmen who can operate the sewing machines but wouldn't have the first clue about making one, and on, and on, and on.

"The economy" you speak of is not a monolithic entity or a creature of design, but literally millions of complete strangers each doing what he or she does best in a massive cooperative (yet unconscious) effort resulting in shiny new vehicles and millions of other products.

What hubris you must have to declare that millions of individuals should direct their energies to your projects rather than those they should choose for themselves.

Comment by Ed Price (10621)
Entered on:

We have enough engineering know-how to build and operate cars.

Yet, if the whole system of economy doesn't run smoothly enough, car manufacturers won't find it profitable enough to manufacture any more cars. If car manufacturing goes by the wayside, fuel companies won't be able to make it profitable enough to manufacture gasoline for the cares that are left.

Much as we might want to disagree, cars are not natural, even though we see millions of them around the world. If car manufacturing died, would we have enough time to re-learn how to live without cars before the few remaining ones rusted to junk?

The ancient Mayans may have had indoor plumbing, but the modern Mayans often live without it. Modern Mayans? Yes, the descendants of the Mayans live in different places in South America, many in Peru.

How long would it take us to adapt to living without cars if the economy turned so sour that car manufacturing died?