The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology by James A. O'Kon P.E. traces the evolution of Mayan culture and engineering over the centuries. Numerous schematics are depicted throughout the book to demonstrate how the Mayan mathematicians and scientists overcame extensive environmental challenges like frequent flooding and droughts.
During the mid first millenium AD, the Mayan urban centers were the largest on the planet according to the author. The Mayan civilization had fifty city states with royalty, scribes, scientists and merchants. Mayan engineers developed efficient water management systems and overcame the shortfalls of the environment.
Clearly, the Mayan engineers understood technical engineering challenges like shear and overturning moment computations. The Mayan pyramids were
designed as a mathematical step function with rock ascending like a concrete stairwell. This design distributed the huge shear forces fractionally during great wind storms or flooding. A step function design is easier to access for repair purposes. Much of the Mayan engineering design technology is needed right now in places like Africa and Asia.
Mayans ate maize, beans, tomatoes, chili, squash, avocado and many other tropical fruits and vegetables loaded with antioxidants and good fats. The Mayan diet could be a model for Americans to emulate. The Mayan climate was alternating deluge and drought. Natural wells or cenotes provided the Mayans in the lowlands with direct access to water throughout the year.
The Mayan culture suffered apocalyptic environmental disasters after 910 AD. These disasters stultified growth. Modern researchers are still uncertain as to the exact reasons why the Mayan culture waned in influence from its zenith. Great earthquakes may be less probable because the two largest quakes were in Antioch, Syria and in Corinth, Greece during the first millenium AD.
A number of Mayan cities were reborn in the eleventh century. Many thousands of books were destroyed by overzealous conquistadors. Slowly but surely, elements of Mayan culture are being retrieved successfully by modern archeologists, scholars, local people and authors like James A. O'kon PE.