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Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization

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Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization

The disappearance of the Mayan Civilization has always been a very interesting mystery to me. What happened to the Mayan people? This question has baffled many scientists, researchers, as well as historians since they disappeared of the face of the earth it seems. NASA-funded researchers believe that the Mayans themselves are responsible for their own extinction. The Mayans were supposedly a great culture that constructed pyramids and pavilions throughout Mesoamerica beginning around A.D.300 and disappearing around A.D. 900 (Harvey, D.A. 1977). By around A.D. 900, the Mayan civilization was in steep decline. New building stopped and the pyramids and ball courts were gradually abandoned to the jungle. Around this time the lowland population dropped by around 90 percent. There has been a lot of debate about what caused the collapse of the classic-era Mayan culture. Research by Stuart and Harvey (1977) suggests that the burdens of ritual warfare between city-states became too much or that a great epidemic decimated the population. Usually cultures will slowly become extinct as a result of numerous battles and many times from famine. However the Mayans simply disappeared as a culture. Researchers believe that Mayans were in harmony with their environment, but they made common mistakes as does most other cultures. Deforesting of the land and vegetation caused suffering for the Mayan people in that they could not find food and nourishment once the land had been destroyed. Most of the history of the Mayan speaks to how it took approximately 20 trees to melt one square meter of lime plaster in order to construct their extravagant temples, reservoirs, and monuments (2009). The loss of trees caused a 3-5 degree rise in temperature while dropping the climate’s rainfall amount by 20-30%. The Mayans stripped their…...

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