The pioneering archaeo-engineer uncovers the advanced technologies of the Maya-from ancient highways to the concept of zero.
The mysteries of the Maya have been a source of fascination since the ancient civilization was discovered in the 19th century. Far more advanced than any civilization in Europe, Maya developed an elegant mathematic system, an incredibly accurate astronomy, and one of the world's first written languages. The lost principles of Maya technology allowed ancient engineers to construct grand cities that towered above the rainforest, water systems with underground reservoirs, miles of all-weather paved roads tracking through the jungle, and the longest bridge in the ancient world.
Pioneering archeologist and engineer James O'Kon combined research, field exploration, forensic engineering, and 3-D virtual reconstruction to discover the secrets of Maya technology. Here, O'Kon recounts how Maya engineers developed structural mechanics for multi-story buildings that were not exceeded in height until the first "skyscraper" built in Chicago in 1885; invented the blast furnace 2,000 years before it was patented in England; and developed the vulcanization of rubber more than 2,600 years before Charles Goodyear.
James A. O'Kon, P.E. is a professional engineer with decades of experience designing award-winning projects. He has also spent 40 years investigating Maya engineering feats and lost Maya technology. His investigations have taken him to more than 50 remote Maya sites. He has delivered numerous scientific papers to scientific symposia dealing with Maya technology. He was inducted into the Explorers Club as a National Fellow for his work on Maya technology. A resident of Atlanta, he is currently an expert witness on construction failures and a problem-solving consultant to global corporations when he is not in the rainforest. Read more about him at www.theoldexplorer.com