Amazing Mayan Civilization

 Amazing Mayan Civilization

We have long understood that Mayan culture went through cycles of growth and contraction, beginning in about 1,800 B.C., and ending around 1,000 A.D. What has eluded scientists, until now, is just what caused these cycles. Climate change has often been suggested, but confirming the theory has been difficult because Mayans had disturbed the traditional methods of looking at climate cycles, such as lakebeds in the area.

 Amazing Mayan Civilization

Instead, scientists decided to look at stalagmites in caves, which are far less vulnerable to disturbance. Anthropologist Douglas Kennett from Penn State University and a team of researchers from around the world examined stalagmite growth layers in the jungles of Belize, which reveal periods of drought. These drought periods appear to coincide directly with periods of war and contraction in Mayan society. The most prolonged and severe period of drying corresponds directly with the end of Mayan civilization.

 Amazing Mayan Civilization


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