Why collapsed the Mayan civilization?
Monday 6 August 2018
The answer to the prolonged mystery can be drought.
The remains of the Mayan civilization in Central America are impressive enough as they stand today. They had the capacity to build deep pyramids, temples and cities like Chichen Itza in Mexico.
Here it has lived tens of thousands of people when the Mayans were at their mightiest, between 600-800 AD.
But this was at the end of what we call Mayan civilization. The Mayans built large cities and temples for several hundred years BC, eventually growing into a network of city-states with a long history and complex culture. They developed the most advanced scriptural language in Central America according to the Store Norwegian dictionary, and they had a calendar based on astronomy.
Some would argue that the Mayan calendar said the world would go down in 2012, but it was passed away in security, if not in silence.
Collapse and abandoned cities
But the Mayan world got a bad bite from around 800 to 900 AD. This was not the end of the Mayan, but during this period there was a collapse in the population, and large temples were left to never be used again before becoming a tourist destination in modern times.
Nobody knows what really happened during this traumatic era, but many explanations have appeared. One of these states that the vulnerable Mayan agriculture was hit by particularly powerful and prolonged droughts around this time, and civilization simply failed to produce enough food for the population.
This theory is controversial, but a great knowledge of 2016 states that this is a likely theory of why these mighty cities fell.
A new article in Science supports this theory. An American-British research group has investigated bottom sludge from the Chichancanab Lake in Mexico to see if they can find traces of this dramatic drought, which must have been catastrophic and violent.
That’s exactly what they claim to see.
Capture water molecules
At the bottom of the lake there are things that can tell about the history of the lake. The researchers have taken sediment samples, and find plaster with captured water molecules. These gaps are formed when the lake drops a lot due to drought and evaporation.
When water evaporates, there are more of certain isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in the water molecules, so researchers can look at these plots and estimate how severe the drying periods actually were. They try to reconstruct the lake’s history.
The laws that originate from the collapse period in Mayarik’s history clearly show signs of extreme drought, according to researchers.
During this period, researchers estimate that it was only half as much rain as usual, and in the worst periods it was up to 70 percent less rain. They also estimate that the luxury would be a lot lower than usual.
This is a sign that the years around the Mayan collapse were particularly dry, but these measurements tell about the area around this lake, which is near Chichen Itza.
Although the Mayan civilization got a bang, it did not disappear. There were still cities, and eventually there were new centers of power, even though they were in a smaller proportion than before.