Extreme Weather Preceded Collapse of Ancient Maya Civilization
ScienceDaily (Nov. 8, 2012) — Decades of extreme weather crippled, and ultimately decimated, first the political culture and later the human population of the ancient Maya, according to a new study by an interdisciplinary team of researchers that includes two University of California, Davis, scientists.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 8, 2012) — The role of climate change in the development and demise of classic Maya civilization, ranging from AD 300 to 1000, has been controversial for decades because of a lack of well-dated climate and archaeological evidence. But an international team of archaeologists and earth science researchers has compiled a precisely dated, high-resolution climate record of 2,000 years that shows how Maya political systems developed and disintegrated in response to climate change.
I recall a doco saying much the same thing, basically it was two really bad years meaning they had bugger all food stored because the Maya system was more geared towards an abundance economy and not towards planning for "winter" as being equatorial winters were relatively mild.
And I thought the latest and greatest pop theory that it was deforestation committed by the Mayans for use in building materials that required lime plaster for their great pyramids, temples, and cities. And also for firewood and agriculture.
October 6, 2009: For 1200 years, the Maya dominated Central America. At their peak around 900 A.D., Maya cities teemed with more than 2,000 people per square mile -- comparable to modern Los Angeles County. Even in rural areas the Maya numbered 200 to 400 people per square mile. But suddenly, all was quiet. And the profound silence testified to one of the greatest demographic disasters in human prehistory -- the demise of the once vibrant Maya society. What happened? Some NASA-funded researchers think they have a pretty good idea.
"They did it to themselves," says veteran archeologist Tom Sever.
Remember what the doormouse said;
"Feed YOUR HEAD".
Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:40 AM
Sakari, on 10 November 2012 - 09:59 PM, said:
I thought it was the Spanish Church and Government....
No, they didn't cause the collapse of the Maya civilization:
In the ninth century, the Maya world was turned upside down. Many of the great centres like Tikal were deserted. The sacred temples and palaces briefly became home to a few squatters, who left household rubbish in the once pristine buildings. When they too left, Tikal was abandoned forever, and the Mayan civilisation never recovered. Only a fraction of the Maya people survived to face the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.
Fall of civilization is one of most amazing study of history. Why civilization fall at all?
I study this now, for 4 years to tell you the truth. I read many modern historians on theme plus some from middle ages and ancient historians.
Now I read about ideas which will destroy our todays civilization. It has something like 26 scenarios which only one or two is plausible.
Anyway, there is always compex reasons but we can trace pattern. Sociology problems and Ecocid are almost always present. Greed destroy civilizations too.
I think they need to get away from the idea that the collapse of the Maya is an ‘enduring mystery’ that took less than 80 years. There never was a sudden collapse, or a collapse at all. It was a process of societal change. Even now we understand that rainforests cannot sustain civilizations. The Mayans gave it their best shot. The populations at the traditional southern sites, (like Copan and Tikal), eventually exceeded the carrying capacity of the land to support them, because they used terrible slash-and-burn farming techniques which lowered the productivity of the soils over time. It's basically the same now, when we see Brazilian peasants cutting down the rainforest and complaining that the rich rainforest soil becomes useless after a few seasons, so they have to then go cut more down the next year.
Add to this that the Mayans engaged in constant warfare, eventually leaving the interior depleted of populations as people moved on looking for better opportunities to live safely.
This allowed the northern Yucatan sites to gain power over those in the southern rainforests because of better location and access to food and better trade opportunities. This further decreased the prestige of those old centers and further undermined the importance of that entire southern area as the core of the Mayan society. The northern sites began to eclipse the southern sites as places of ritual and worship. People didn't want to be associated with failed cities and kings (like those in Tikal) so they got out.
The northern Maya civilization still existed when the Spanish arrived by 1500 AD, although only with about a population of 800,000 (plus another 300,000 in the rest of the south) compared to the 3 million of Classic Maya civilization in 800 AD. Though over the 700 years from 800-1500, that reduction is not even perceptible, nor would the Mayans even notice it, especially as some of the northern cities were still overcrowded and vibrant places.
Sounds like Global Warming took it's toll on them.
paperdyer i see it as stating that this proves global warming is not something thats really anything of any importance because it's happened before and it's a natural process. That's to say this really happened and it's roots to be a possible scare tactic for "2012".
why is everyone so &^%$ing concerned with "the end"...
new beginnings is what you should be concerned about...