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Ancient Maya practiced forest conservation

New research shows that not only did the ancient Maya practice forest management, but when they stopped their forest conservation practices it was to the detriment of their entire culture.

“So, unfortunately, Jasaw Chan K’awiil tapped into their sacred groves to do this,” says Lentz. The stands of virgin timber were more than 200 years old in some areas. After building a few of the temples, the Maya ran out of timber from the Manilkara zapota (sapodilla) tree, so they switched to an inferior tree —Haematoxylon campechianum, logwood or inkwood — which is found in swamps.

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