General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 23 Sep 2019/1 Deer
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Today's Maya date is: - 2468 days into the new cycle!
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what was the first native word the Spanish learned when they arrived in the Americas?
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Painting of Aztec chinampas (‘floating gardens’)

Super-fertile ‘floating gardens’!

The famous chinampas (the super-fertile ‘floating gardens’ of the Aztecs) are still only now revealing some of their secrets. Today’s farmers at Xochimilco (‘The place of flowers’) outside Mexico City still farm using ancient methods - incidentally, the construction of chinampas on the lake shore antedated the Aztecs by at least 1,000 years. (Written/compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Like the Aztecs, they still send their sewage into the canals, yet the water doesn’t stink nor does it carry diseases, as we might expect. How come? Researchers have found a unique bacterium living in the sludge at the bottom of the canals which makes it an excellent composter, treating - and neutralising - the sewage organically (and speedily) as it converts it into nutrient-rich fertiliser. With its help, the Aztecs created ‘one of the most productive farming systems ever known’.

New Scientist article 1
New Scientist article 1 (Click on image to enlarge)

Find out more in New Scientist magazine (April 10th. 2004, pp. 50-51, ‘Histories’). The text of the article can be enlarged from these scans - if you’re a NS subscriber you can follow the link to the original issue...

New Scientist article 2
New Scientist article 2 (Click on image to enlarge)

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore of an oil painting by José Muro Pico, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

emoticon An ode to the chinampa (Aztec limerick no. 5):-
All that food from the fertile chinampa
Fed a third of the city. Magic! ¡Trampa!
Sustainable farming
(Then and now we find charming)
Seven harvests a year, each a bumper.

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Learn about the Aztecs’ advanced waste management system...
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Here's what others have said:

Mexicolore replies: Both terms are in the English dictionary we have on our shelf...
Mexicolore replies: Thanks, Sakura! This particular page was written in 2004, by me, Ian Mursell (of the Mexicolore team). Hope this helps.
Mexicolore replies: Absolutely right, Brittany! Thanks for writing in on this.