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What happened to the ancient Maya ?


Posted on Monday, 12 November, 2012 | Comment icon 14 comments | News tip by: jules99


Image credit: Bruno Girin

 
A new study suggests that extreme weather conditions may have decimated the ancient Maya civilization.

The Maya were a brilliant and advanced society possessing expertise in everything from architecture to art, yet within the space of less than 80 years their entire civilization simply fell apart. What happened exactly has been an enduring mystery for years, but now it seems that extreme changes in the weather might have been the primary contributing factor in their untimely demise.

Comparing Maya political history from hieroglyphs with the climatic records of the time, researchers have found a clear correlation between a period of extreme weather conditions and notable political collapses within ancient Maya society. "It's a cautionary tale about how fragile our political structure might be," said Professor Bruce Winterhalder. "Are we in danger the same way the Classic Maya were in danger?"

"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."

  View: Full article |  Source: Science Daily

  Discuss: View comments (14)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 12 November, 2012, 19:55
Sounds like Global Warming took it's toll on them.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Pinguin on 14 November, 2012, 19:40
I like to think that some aliens came and handled business with the Mayans. It just seems more interesting than weather conditions affecting them. I don't know
Comment icon #7 Posted by the L on 22 November, 2012, 13:29
I thought it was the Spanish Church and Government.... Spain Church didnt cursh neither Inca or Aztec. It was Pizzaro and Cortes. And Maya fell before Spainyards came. They live in some cities. But they time was gone.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Ambush Bug on 23 November, 2012, 8:51
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 ... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Abramelin on 26 November, 2012, 10:40
I thought it was the Spanish Church and Government.... Spain 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. http://www.bbc.co.uk...s/maya_01.shtml Ah, ... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by the L on 28 November, 2012, 19:48
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.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Number Fingers on 29 November, 2012, 7:17
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 basi... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by chopmo on 29 November, 2012, 9:12
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".
Comment icon #13 Posted by Crosswings on 3 December, 2012, 19:42
They could be hiding in the tunnels of the earth and we just don't know it.
Comment icon #14 Posted by the L on 4 December, 2012, 6:10
They could be hiding in the tunnels of the earth and we just don't know it. They coul but most likely? No.


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