Assignment 1: Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization
Dr. H Stansbury
July 28, 2013
The Ancient Mayan people were located in Mesoamerica which is a term that describes the area from Mexico to Central America in which they inhabited. The Mayans also occupied the territory along Columbia and parts of Peru. Between the times of 250 to 900 BC the Mayans were known as dominant culture and very advanced for their time. The Mayans developed two sets of calendars, studied the stars and were diverse in astronomy, build pyramids and government buildings, were highly skilled farmers and even developed the first hot chocolate. To be such an advanced civilization then just disappear is still to this day a mystery. There are various theories as to what led to their demise and they all have their valid points. The main theories that I have come across during my research are as follows.
The Collapse of Maya Civilization
The Mayans did not just suddenly disappear all at once, it is thought that each of the 60+ cities were abandoned one by one resulting in the loss of the culture. There are several theories floating about, that seems plausible but do not necessarily have the supporting evidence. The following theories are most likely and have the amount of data and research to support them. The theory that the Mayan’s disappeared due to the environment or climate change seemed to be the more popular theory. This theory suggests two things, one that although the Mayans’ were exemplary farmers and was able to sustain their population in the rainforest for many years they were no match for the oversaturation of the land due to excessive rainfall. This would have resulted in the abandoning of Mayan cities. The flip side to that theory is that the Mayans’ were eradicated due to massive drought. This is really a controversial theory because it is thought that drought does not typically happen in the areas where the Mayans’...
Bibliography: Cecil, J. (2011, Feb. 17). The fall of the Mayan Civilization. Retrieved from BBC: History. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/maya_01.shtml
Minister, C. (n.d.). What Happened to the Ancient Maya? Retrieved July 2013, from About.com: http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/Maya/p/What-Happened-To-The-Ancient-Maya.htm
NASA. (2004, November 15). The Rise and Fall of the Mayan. Retrieved July 2013, from www.nasa.gov: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/15nov_maya/
Sayre, H. (2011). The Humanities: Culture, continuity and change, volume 1 (2nd ed). In H. Sayre. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Rise and fall of the Maya empire. (n.d.). Retrieved from History.com http://www.history.com/topics/maya
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