Archaeologists and other research scientists and academicians have been eagerly engaged in uncovering the secrets that may, at least in part, explain how ancient densely populated Maya cities and communities sustained their monumental centers and large settlements in their seemingly inhospitable jungle environments. Their work goes far beyond developing answers to this question, however. The research portends the development of a whole new paradigm for archaeological investigations and conservation, and may suggest a useful new model for global sustainability.
The site of the investigations is a large Maya monumental center called El Pilar, Spanish for “watering basin” because of the plentiful water resources in the area. Straddling the border of Belize and Guatemala, 12 kilometers north of the Belizean town of San Ignacio, it boasts approximately 100 acres of plazas (more than 25), temples, palaces, residential structures, and causeways, ranking it easily among the major Maya centers of the ancient Lowland Maya. Read more.