Engineer/archaeologist James O'Kon rediscovered a lost Mayan bridge in Mexico's tropical rain forest. Although little evidence remains of the seventh century bridge, archaeological accounts, field surveys, aerial photos, and modern computer technology provide the proof that it existed. This article notes that for 700 years the pre-Columbian bridge at Yaxchilan was the longest in the world, crossing the Usumacinta River between what is now Mexico and Guatemala. The archaeological history and the field surveys led the author to an engineering hypothesis: a rope-cable suspension bridge was constructed across the river supported by towers and anchored by masonry supports at the abutments. The hypothesized structure is well within the realm of Mayan technology and offers a logical solution to the question of how Yaxchilan operated on a year-round basis.


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  • Accession Number: 00674120
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 3 1995 12:00AM