National Geographic : 1993 Feb
AGUATECA The last capital Twin city to Dos Pilas,Aguateca was fortified on a plateau above Lake Petexbatin,as rulersesca lated warfareagainst neigh boringcity-states. Capitalizingon naturaldefenses formed by an escarpmentand a deep chasm, the builders ordered palisadedwalls to encircle temples and royal residences, nearbyfields, even the paths down the escarp ment to the main water supply (below). Vanderbiltgraduatestu dents ChrisBeekman and Takeshi Inomata explore the chasm (left). Despite its defenses, the for tress proved vulnerable.In this re-creationattackers bridgethe chasm with logs. The settlement was overwhelmed sometime after 790, the date recorded on its last known stela. Some residents may have joined the victors; others may have moved two and a halfmiles north to Punta de Chimino and con tinued to fight on. o " I...