End of Mayan Civilization

1143 Words Jan 28th, 2013 5 Pages
End of Mayan Civilization
Samuel Nathaniel
H. Stansbury
HUM 111
11/3/2012

The mystery concerning the fundamental explanation for the collapse of the Mayan Civilization has been a major focus for researchers in the fields of anthropology and archeology for a considerable period of time. At the very core of this mystery of the Mayan collapse was the question of how could such a strong, stable civilization that had flourished for approximately twenty-seven hundred years disappear without a clear, rational explanation. As a result, researchers have put forth a large number of theories for the explanation of the collapse and subsequent decimation of the Mayan empire. Although it would be convenient or simple to put forth a theory
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In addition, Cecil explains that a group of University of Florida scientists concluded that the time period of the Maya collapse, approximately 900 A.D., represented the driest time in the Mayan region for a 7,000 year period. This conclusion offered a theory that there was exceptional drought precisely at the time of the decimation of the Mayan civilization (Cecil, 2011). Perhaps the best example for drought as the most rational theory for the Mayan collapse are the series of arguments put forth by Matthew Markowitz in the ICE Case Study- The Mayans, Climate Change, and Conflict. Although Markowitz acknowledges that warfare most likely was an accompanying factor with severe drought, it definitely was not the primary or underlying factor. For example, Markowitz explains that there always existed some form of warfare between Mayan states throughout their history and to some Mayan historians uncontrolled warfare was most likely one of the primary causes for the Mayan collapse (Markowitz, 2003). In contrast, the arguments by Markowitz concerning drought and severe climate change greatly outweigh warfare and represent the best possible theory for the Mayan collapse. The significant, fundamental factors of drought and climate change led researchers to conclude that the ecological/ environmental surroundings of the Maya- most notably the tropical rainforest- were
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