Premium Essay

Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization

In: Historical Events

Submitted By badu8702
Words 324
Pages 2
| Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization | | | Jerome A Brown Jr. | 2/4/2013 |


No one can say for certain what happened to the Mayan people, but theories abound and include varied possible alternatives to explain the abrupt and mysterious disappearance of the Mayan civilization. Many historians have questioned “how” or “why” the Mayan civilization disappeared after the 10th century; however there is no definitive answer to this question.
One possible theory is the Mayan’s civilization grew to such an extent that they deforested so much of the region that it had significant climate changes, thereby forcing the Mayan people to immigrate to other regions (Server, 2004), this theory has some scientific background, and scientists have used satellites to study the topsoil of Central America. They found that right before the civilization collapse, the sediment had changed from tree pollen to weed pollen, suggesting there were no more trees in the area. The result of a treeless environment is the erosion of fertile topsoil, warmer climate, and a possible reduction of precipitation. Since the Mayans depended on water reservoirs from precipitation, this would have had a detrimental effect.
Another theory surrounding the disappearance of the Mayan people is consistent droughts that took place preceding the tenth century and the reduction of civilization through various wars caused the Mayan civilization to dwindle down to virtual extinction.
While both theories sound relevant, scientific data is also consistent to what is happening the region of Central and South American and the deforestation of the rain forest. Perhaps history is only repeating itself.

Cited References
Medina-Elizalde, M. & Rohling, E. J. (2012). Collapse of Classic Maya Civilization Related to Modest Reduction in Precipitation. Science 24...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization

...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......

Words: 620 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Mayan Civilation

...The Mayan civilization The ancient group of people called, Mayans were located in Mesoamerica. They were also known as the Classic Maya. They were believed to exist in the 8th and 9th century. Scholars state a theory surrounding their cause of disappearance. The Ecological theory is the main cause of the abrupt disappearance of the Mayan civilization. The ecological collapse theory states the main reason for the abrupt disappearance of the Mayan people pertains to natural causes such as droughts, climate change, and environmental change. Some scientist states that climate change was the main cause of their disappearance. Unusual shifts in atmospheric patterns took place throughout this time. Volcano eruptions could have been caused by the pattern change which may have destroyed civilization. There were long dry seasons that caused severe droughts each year. This caused a great effect on the Mayan vegetation and fertility. The Mayans hydrological engineering depended on seasonal rains to replenish their water supplies. This epidemic affected many people in the Mayan civilization. In conclusion, I believe this is plausible, because this can be related to modern society. Natural disasters such as, volcano eruptions, earthquakes, and rain storms has been known to destroy cities and take the lives of innocent people in this current day. It is evident that because of the ecological collapse the Mayan civilization could not survive. References Joel, P. (2006). Mayan......

Words: 270 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Theories Behind the Disappearance of the Myan Cilization

...Theories Behind the Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization Travis Epling Prof. Aprile Castagna Cappuzzo Introduction to Humanities 2 May 2014 Theories Behind the Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization There are many theories behind the decline of the Mayan Civilization. They range from over-population, war, famine, immigration, deforestation, climate change, and even aliens. When we say the disappearance of the Mayans we do not mean that the culture completely disappeared, we are talking about and extreme reduction in population. Tom Server believes as much as 90 to 95 percent of the population. Many of the major bustling cities of the Mayan Empire such as Tikal, Palenque, and Copan were simply abandoned for, what appears to be, no reason. Many of these theories have been debunked over time with the development of new science technology that allows for more thorough of investigations of these ancient civilizations. The first theory we will visit will be the affects of deforestation which also encompasses part of the climate change theory. NASA archaeologist, Tom Sever(2004) states that , “The Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica was one of the densest populations in human history”. He believes that the population during the height of the Mayan Empire would have been between 1800 and 2600 people per square mile. In 2000, the population density of Los Angeles was around 2300 for a comparison. The extreme amount of people living in the area would have......

Words: 1215 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Disappearance of the Maya Civilizationi

...Disappearance of the Mayan Civilization Gladis Y. Romero Prof. Lowell Larry Pullen, Ph.D. HUM111 – World Cultures I Strayer University May 4, 2013 Abstract Maya Civilizations was truly remarkable. There is so much to learn from this Ancient society. Due to advance research, new clues have aroused about the disappearance of this magnificent empire. We now know they suffered a calamity, the mighty Maya; timekeepers of the universe, together with their centers of learning were vanished.  Their incredible achievements and legacy in astronomy, mathematics, Maya pottery and other Pre-Columbian art as well as monumental constructions in stone were obliterated.  All was reclaimed by nature.  Even their writing was forgotten in time.  Until very recent, the glyphs in stone and four surviving Maya manuscripts were considered a mystery. It is only recently with some scientific advancement that we are starting to decode what words were written and truly comprehend the excellence of their achievements, their great fall and disappearance. The Disaster and Warfare Theory are discussed, believing the Warfare Theory is the most plausible one. No one can say for certain what happened to the Mayan people, but theories abound and include varied possible alternatives to explain the abrupt and mysterious disappearance of the Mayan civilization. Minster’s (2013) Article explains the following: In 800 A.D., the Maya Empire consisted of a number of powerful city-states spreading from......

Words: 798 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Humanities - Mayan Culture

...The Maya civilization was one of the most dominant native societies of Mesoamerica; the area of present day southern Mexico and Central America. The earliest Maya settlements date back to around 1800 BCE, but by the late 800 CE to early 900 CE, the Maya civilization in that region had collapsed. The reason for this mysterious decline is unknown, but the theories for their disappearance have varied. Two of these theories include constant warfare and possible invasion by competing city-states, and the other is the exhaustion of their environment no longer able to sustain a large population and it’s constant growth. The latter of these theories was proposed by Atmospheric scientist Bob Oglesby. According to Oglesby the collapse of the Mayan settlements was in large due to forestation. The evidence he found was based on the thickness of the floor stones in the Mayan ruins. His study revealed that they would have needed about 20 trees to build a fire large enough to make the plaster floor stone that is about one square meter. In the earliest ruins, these stones were as thick as a foot or even more, but these stones progressively got thinner in the more recent built ruins; those were only a few inches thick. Oglesby calls the Mayan deforestation the granddaddy of all deforestation events. Further studies reveal that the Mayan population reached its peak population at 1,800 to 2,600 people per square mile. In comparison, Los Angeles County......

Words: 450 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

What Happened to the Mayans

...What Happened To the Mayans? Michelle Boseman Professor Sisson Humanities 111 Many historians have questioned “how” or “why” the Mayan civilization disappeared after the 10th century; however there is no definitive answer to this question. One possible theory is the Mayan’s population and heavy environmental consumption may have lead to deforestation and soil exhaustion grew to such an extent that they deforested so much of the region thereby forcing the Mayan people to immigrate to other regions, this theory has some scientific background, and scientists have used satellites to study the topsoil of Central America. Scientist have found that right before the civilization collapse, the sediment had changed from tree pollen to weed pollen, suggesting there were no more trees in the area. The result of a treeless environment is the erosion of fertile topsoil, warmer climate, and a possible reduction of precipitation. Since the Mayans depended on water reservoirs from precipitation, this would have had a detrimental effect. Initially the Mayan civilization prospered throughout the lowlands. From 300 B.C. to 900 A.D. the Mayans developed a relatively productive agriculture-based economy based on the surrounding terrains, which lead to expansions in population. Mayan agriculture suffered from various limitations, which made their level of stability somewhat fragile. The Mayans relied heavily upon a narrow range of crops including corn, which made up 70% of their diet,...

Words: 871 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Mayan Civilization

...Name: Nancy Medrano Date: 05/17/2013 Period: 2 Research Paper Outline I. Introduction A.From all ancient civilizations the best known to our knowledge it’s the Mayan Empire B. the Mayan empire has been one of the most impressive empires in our world, beautiful architectural cities, their Mayan calendar and their mysterious disappearance. II. TYPE Body Paragraph 1 Topic: The Mayans A. ORIGIN 1.they settle in Yucatan Mexico are between 2600 BC and 1800 BC in 250 ad and 900 ad they moved down to other cities and build up new buildings .they spread thru central America 2. The cities they lived in where Yucatan Mexico, Guatemala located in Petén B. 3 MAJOR CITIES 1. Tikal a. located in Guatemala central America in the state of Petén it had the largest population of 50,000 to 60,000 . b. it has six temples and its most know it the 2. C. Uxmal city 1. Its located in Yucatan Mexico had around 25,000 Mayan populations around 800 BC one of the most popular temple is the magician temple 2. Story of the magician temple is about a boy D. 1. 2. III. TYPE Body Paragraph II Topic: A. 1. 2. B. 1. 2. C. 1. 2. D. 1. 2. IV. TYPE Body Paragraph III Topic: A. 1. 2. B. 1. 2. C. 1. 2. D. 1. 2. V: TYPE Body Paragraph IV Topic: A. 1. 2. B. 1. 2. C. 1. 2. D. 1. 2. Conclusion: Restate your thesis (using different...

Words: 255 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Mayans Disappearance

...Could you imagine the whole United States just disappearing? That is what happened to the Mayans. In a time span of only one hundred years the whole Maya population was wiped out, there are several theories about what the cause for this decline was. What anthropologists do know for sure is that the Mayans were an ancient mesoamerican civilization dating back to 250 B.C “made up of more than 19 million people”( Their empire centered in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala. The Maya people reached their peak of power around the 6th century A.D. The Mayans were successful in many ways;, a website dedicated to informing the public about important historical information, states, “The Maya excelled at agriculture,...

Words: 1234 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Asian History

...The Origins of the Chinese Empire, to 220 C.E. these cities, built by rulers to move troops and supplies, were traveled by traders transporting such items as metal tools and utensils, lacquered wood plates and boxes, silk, pottery, gems, salt, and lumber. A money economy emerged, using copper coins called cash, with center holes for stringing them together for counting and carrying. China's towns and cities were likewise linked into a large economic system . Trade between China and distant lands A metal bell from the Zhou era. was difficult and dangerous, but by the era's end commerce was conducted by sea with Southeast Asia and by land routes crossing Central Asia. The Central Asian Connection Central Asia, a vast expanse to China's north and west where the climate was too dry for farming (Map 2), was home mainly to pastoral nomads who grazed herds on its plateaus and plains. Skilled on horseback, the nomads occasionally attacked Chinese settlements to carry off goods and supplies, but they also spread commerce and useful knowledge. Some nomads, for example, exchanged their Central Asian nomads connect China with other cultures Nomads and Chinese adopt horse riding and crossbows from each other Iron tools and weapons spread to China, enhancing farming and warfare hides, wool, and horses for Chinese silk, pottery, metalware, and wood products and then traded these items with other societies across Central Asia. Over time, connections with the...

Words: 18516 - Pages: 75

Free Essay

Mysterious Places

...Mysterious Places Mamyan Ann Our environment is full of magical, mystical, and mysterious places that defy explanation.  There are treasures yet to be found, stone carvings we don't yet understand, and architectural feats to be explained.  Even as we live in what we consider to be the most technologically advanced society in all history, there are currently no air-tight explanations for most of the true wonders of our planet and beyond. The Great Pyramids of Egypt are the oldest structures on earth, contain compelling evidence of a civilization far more advanced than ours, and most likely existed thousands of years before the great flood.  With their original exteriors, they could probably be seen from the moon. The Mayan Civilization left behind incredible structures containing precise calculations and prophecies regarding the exact date of end of the world........Do you know that date? A site being studied on the side of Mt.  Ararat in Turkey may be the remains of the Biblical Noah's Ark. Scientists are currently quietly investigating a site off the western tip of Cuba that some say may be part of the lost city of Atlantis. We know less about the bottom of our own seas than we do about outer space.  There is a form on the surface of Mars that strongly appears to resemble an Egyptian face carving.  Is there a link? These are just a few of the many fascinating and mysterious places we intend to visit on these pages.  From......

Words: 4291 - Pages: 18

Free Essay

Tainos, Indigenous People

...Final Research Paper: Tainos, The indigenous people Before the discovery of the new world, it has been known of the various indigenous people that once inhabited our lands. The more popular natives such as the Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs have been widely sought out in today’s age, unlike other lesser-known tribes such as the Tainos. Today many tribes have vastly decreased in number and size, but there are those who still practice and familiarize themselves with their heritage. I myself can relate to this small percentage of people, due to the fact I am descendent of the Tainos from Cuba. Hence, I decided to make my research paper based on the history of my heritage: The Tainos. The word Taino derived from the meaning “men of the good.” Based on historical facts, the Tainos were indeed good people. These indigenous people established a culture where the human temperament was kind. Among the Taino at the time of contact, generosity and kindness were governing values in society as well as directed towards an ecological interaction with the natural surroundings. It suggested a lifestyle that tried to feed its entire people, and a spirituality that was valued, through ceremonies. The Taino lived humbly in an abundant place and so their environment was abundant. The Tainos & Ciboneys were related to the cultural Arawak group, who was one of the main indigenous people of South America and the Caribbean. They spoke Taino, which was considered Arawak language...

Words: 2421 - Pages: 10

Free Essay


...survive. The main characters are historical people and unknown kings of Mayan cities or Easter Island villages. Jared Diamond tells the story of the Viking explorer Erik the Red, who discovered Greeland and Vinland (Terranova, in Canada). Another character is captain Olafsson, a norse sailor who wrote the last news about Greenland in 1410. Another main character is Christopher Columbus, who arrived at Hispaniola in 1492, but now this island is two countries, the Dominican Republic and the Haiti. Diamond studied the politics of two presidents. the dominican Rafael Trujillo, who protected the enviroment and the dictator François, Papa Doc, Duvalier, who decided on politics of deforestatation of his country, Haiti. The author considered the bad politics of another main character, king George II, who was interested in sending merinosheeps from Spain to Australia, an idea which was succesful from 1820 to 1950 but then the farmers understood their lands lost fertility. Another main character is Tokuwaga Jeayasu, a shogun of Japan in 1600, who prohibited Christianity in 1600 and protected his country againt deforestation.  The book takes us to a lot of places around the globe: Mayan cities, Rwanda, Viking colonies of Vinland or Greenland, Haiti and Dominican Republic, Easter Island and Polynesian colonies in Pacific, and the Chaco villages in New Mexico (United States). The time period was from 800 AC, when collapsed Mayan cities to 2005. Other locations are the Viking ships,......

Words: 22095 - Pages: 89

Free Essay

Bgcse History

...buffalo and deer. When the herds moved, people moved after them because they were dependent on the animals for food. It is therefore suspected that the herds led the people out of Asia by the north-east, across the Bering Strait and into North America. They crossed the sea by an ice –bridge when it was frozen over during the last Ice-Age. They did not know that they were crossing water from one continent to another. Map 1 Amerindians migration from central Asia into North America. The Amerindians settled throughout North America and were the ancestors of the many Red Indian tribes we know today, as well as the Eskimos in the far north. In general, they were nomadic but some followed settled agricultural pursuits and developed civilizations of their own like the Mayas in South America (check internet reference for profile on this group, focus on level of development, structure of society, religion). The migration continued south through Central America into South America from where the Arawaks and Caribs migrated to the West Indies. The Arawaks and the Caribs can be traced by their languages to two different cradle lands in South America where the Indians speak related languages. The ancestors of the Arawaks probably came from...

Words: 69958 - Pages: 280

Premium Essay


...Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 1999. 28:i–xxiii Copyright © 1999 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGICAL ENLIGHTENMENT? Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 1999.28:i-xxiii. Downloaded from by on 11/03/13. For personal use only. Marshall Sahlins Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637; e-mail: Key Words: modernity, indigenization, translocality, culture, development n Abstract A broad reflection on some of the major surprises to anthropological theory occasioned by the history, and in a number of instances the tenacity, of indigenous cultures in the twentieth century. We are not leaving the century with the same ideas that got us there. Contrary to the inherited notions of progressive development, whether of the political left or right, the surviving victims of imperial capitalism neither became all alike nor just like us. Contrary to the “despondency theory” of mid-century, the logical and historical precursor of dependency theory, surviving indigenous peoples aim to take cultural responsibility for what has been done to them. Across large parts of northern North America, even hunters and gatherers live, largely by hunting and gathering. The Eskimo are still there, and they are still Eskimo. Around the world the peoples give the lie to received theoretical oppositions between tradition and change, indigenous culture and modernity,...

Words: 12110 - Pages: 49

Premium Essay

Mubarak Denbyso


Words: 20884 - Pages: 84