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From: Fern Smith
Why Did the Maya Abandon the Ancient City of Tikal?
New research suggests mercury and toxic algae poisoned the settlement’s reservoirs
Poisoned water wasn’t the sole cause of Tikal’s downfall, but as the researchers conclude, “The conversion of Tikal’s central reservoirs from life-sustaining to sickness-inducing places would have both practically and symbolically helped to bring about the abandonment of this magnificent city.”