The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology

The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology - James O'Kon Brilliant book! The author is a professional engineer who investigates and describes Maya technology - everything from Maya writing, astronomy, mathematics, tool fabrication, hydraulic cement, concrete, bridges, towers, pyramids, other buildings, water-management systems, and highway systems. The author also provides a synthesis of local climate and geology to explain why the Maya built what they did using the tools they did e.g. obsidian tools instead of metal tools because the geology of the area has obsidian and jade but no metals for mining. The book also includes a brief history of the Maya.

The book wasn't overly technical and included some nice illustrations to explain the more technical engineering concepts, as well as several beautiful colour photographs of Maya architecture and tools. The stage by stage construction of a typical Maya arch was particularly well done. This book was stuffed full of interesting information relayed by a very "relaxed" writing style - for an engineer/scientist, this author writes beautifully.

You should read this book if you are even vaguely interested in the Maya, ancient civilizations in general, or the work of Christopher Dunn.