Saturday, May 12, 2012

Guest Post: James O'Kon author of The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology

James O’Kon, author of the book The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology, stopped by to share with us a piece he wrote.

Lost Technology of Maya Civilization Discovered
By James O’Kon

The century old question of how Maya engineers constructed their grand high-rise cities and other advanced technical feats have been a complete mystery to archaeology. Archaeologists studying the Maya Civilization have concentrated on the advanced sciences including astronomy as accurate as modern computing, elegant higher mathematics using only three symbols and one of the five original written languages on the planet. While the pure sciences have been glorified by archaeology, the Technology of the Maya has been totally neglected. Now the mysteries of Maya technology have been revealed by Archaeoengineer James O’Kon PE in his book: The lost secrets of Maya Archaeology. His revelations of surprising Maya technical achievements were uncovered by exploration of ancient Maya cities deep in the rainforest.

The Maya were a science based civilization that dwelt in the rainforest of the Yucatan peninsula. The Maya developed a scientific civilization in the total isolation this tropical hot land, their civilization was inspired by a cosmic philosophy that venerated time and the glory of the universe. The Maya civilization was the longest lived in the history of the planet. The civilization extended from 1800 BC to 900 AD, it ended when the civilization mysteriously collapsed and the grand cities were abandoned to the rainforest.

The Maya civilization was unknown to the world until rediscovered in 1839 and celebrated in a series of books by John Lloyd Stephens. In the last 171 years the Maya civilization has become popular and extensive archaeological efforts have been expended on discovery, excavating and consolidating the ruined cities while assembling their history and breaking the code of their complex written script.

Archaeology has concentrated on the art, architecture and the sciences of the civilization and has totally neglected the advanced technology that constructed the grand cities, water systems, roads and bridges.. All are amazed at the exotic architecture, tall structures, and infrastructure of their grand cities. Regardless of the obvious technological wonders that were constructed by Maya engineers. Archaeologists consider the Maya to be a Stone Age people; because they did not possess metal tools. Due to this “Stone Age” mindset archaeology has totally neglected the study of Maya technology. Archaeologists are trained in anthropology and art history and are not schooled in science or technology. They do not recognize the brilliant technology that the Maya used that constructed their grand cities, infrastructures, paved roadways and long span bridges .The study of Maya technology was an open field when James O’Kon began his quest for the truth.

The author is a professional civil and forensic engineer who has studied the ancient cities of the Maya for over forty years. His professional experience and scientific training has enabled him to recognize the advanced technology the Maya used to construct their cities, construct water management systems, build paved highways, and construct the longest bridge in the ancient world. His inquires to archaeologists were answered by folk tales about Maya capabilities with a comment that they were not capable of technical feats because they were only a “Stone Age” culture.

This attitude became a challenge and initiated his quest to search out and identify Maya technical capabilities. His quest has been fulfilled; he has identified numerous examples of Maya technology throughout the domain. His investigation included field investigation, remote sensing, and forensic engineering analysis using digital tools to virtually reconstruct lost technology with three-dimensional software.

His discoveries, analysis and detailed technical methodology are the topic of the book. His narrative recounts the thrill of discovery and the adventure of his quest. The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology have been identified and their capabilities proven using scientific tools including thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, structural mechanics, hydraulics, and geology. The book details field discoveries and scientific proof of Maya technical skills including: 

1. Astronomical calculations of the end date: December 21, 2012 and what it really means
2. Fabrication of jadeite tools that are harder than steel
3. Fabrication of cement using blast furnace technology, 1850 years before it was patented in Europe
4. Development of cast-in-place concrete building materials and structural mechanics that introduced high-rise long span structures to the grand Maya cities.
5. Development of water management system to collect, store and distribute water for the grand cities
6. Construction of wide, all-weather, concrete paved roads elevated a above the jungle floor
7. Invention of the vulcanization of rubber 2600 years before Charles Goodyear was born
8. Construction of long span bridges including the longest span in the ancient world
9. Development of man powered transport that is more efficient than beasts of burden
10. Design and construction of large sea going cargo vessels that enhanced their trade capabilities

O’Kon describes the history of the Maya, their rediscovery, their motivation for scientific and numerous technological breakthroughs, concluding with the collapse of the Maya civilization. The over populated cities depended on advanced technology for water supply and agriculture, so when a cataclysmic natural disaster enveloped the Yucatan Maya technology failed them, the civilization was decimated and doomed.

As we can see, the Maya were an extremely advanced society that archeologists have been looking at wrongly, classifying it as a more primitive “stone age” society when they were really much more than that. The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology uncovers this fascinating history and sheds light on how archeologists may even be looking at other civilizations the wrong way as well.


About the book:

The Maya have been an enigma since their discovery in the mid- 19th century. Maya science developed an elegant mathematic system, an incredibly accurate astronomy, and one of the world's five original written languages. This technology was more advanced than similar European technology by more than a thousand years.

In this book, you'll see how James O'Kon, a professional engineer, synergistically applied field exploration, research, forensic engineering, and 3-D virtual reconstruction of Maya projects to discover lost Maya technological achievements. These lost principles of technology enabled Maya engineers to construct grand cities that towered above the rainforest, water systems with underground reservoirs for water storage, miles of all-weather paved roads tracking through the jungle, and the longest bridge in the ancient world.

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. Discover a host of unknown wonders in The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology.

About the author:

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


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