Droughts Ended Maya Civilization, Experts Say
With their awe-inspiring architecture and sophisticated concepts of astronomy and mathematics, the Maya were undoubtedly among the great ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica. At the peak of their glory, around 800 A.D., the Maya ranged from Mexico's YucatÃ¡n peninsula to Honduras.
Then, almost in an instant, a society of some 15 million people imploded, leaving deserted cities, trade routes, and immense pyramids in ruins. The sudden demise is one of the greatest archeological mysteries of our time. What caused the collapse of the great Maya civilization?
The answer, say researchers, is climate change. According to a new study published in the current issue of Science, a long period of dry climate, punctuated by three intense droughts, led to the end of the Maya society. "Climate change is to blame for one of the most catastrophic collapses in human history," said Gerald Haug, a professor of geology at the University of Potsdam, Germany, and one of the study's authors.
Edited: FarSeer on 13th Jun, 2004 - 12:50am
What a sad way to die, but I thought the Eastern invasion played its part in it. I learnt many years ago that one of the features of Mayan beauty was to crush the forehead using a piece of wood and stone. I am glad mine is still intact in the year 2004 ;)