The Fall of the Mayan Empire Essay

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The fall of the Mayan Empire The collapse of the Mayan Empire is one of history’s greatest mysteries. It was one of the most advanced and developed civilizations of its time period, reining during the Pre-Classic period and into the Classic and Post-Classic Periods (2000 B.C. – 900 A.D.). The territory stretched from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, down to modern day El Salvador in Central America. Its achievements were monumental for the era, being the first empire communicating with the use of a written language having over 800 symbols and producing the first 365 day calendar. They maintained an in-depth understanding of astrological cycles that would assist in planning harvesting cycles and predicting solar eclipses. The Mayan’s …show more content…
They have found iconographic elements and works of pottery and tools that are not consistent with the Classic Mayan model, suggesting that foreign invaders drove the Mayan’s from the region . However, most scientists believe this phenomenon to be a symptom rather than a cause, and say this theory is highly debatable. With the vast number of Mayan people, coupled with its historical resilience, it seems unlikely that a singular military force could wipe out the entire region. Many who reject this theory believe it was not solely foreign controversy. Internal conflict coupled with outside invaders could have ultimately led to the fall of the empire. Although some scientists believe that it was not warfare at all that caused the decline. Another highly analyzed theory is the “Epidemic Diseases Theory”. This theory postulates that widespread disease crippled the region and led to rapid depopulation, although there is speculation about the exact type of disease. James Brewbaker believes that the disease originated from the corn in the lowland regions of the area. In his article in Economic Botany, he writes, ”the maize mosaic virus (MMV), is proposed as the contributing cause of the collapse” . This is a devastating virus that is transmitted from insects of the tropic lowlands into the corn. It is fairly conclusive that the insects of the region spread this illness, although the exact disease is not known. They

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