Monday, April 9, 2012
A recent study has suggested that the conditions caused by a mild drought might have been the reason for the collapse of the Mayan civilization.!!!
Mayan civilization was wiped out by drought - study
A recent study has suggested that the conditions caused by a mild drought might have been the reason for the collapse of the Mayan civilization. The research published in the journal Nature says a continuous 25 to 40 percent drop in rainfall reduced water supplies in the homeland of the ancient Maya civilization located in what is now Southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Researchers at the Yucatan Centre for Scientific Research in Southern Mexico and the University of Southampton used modeling techniques in order to estimate the rates of rainfall and evaporation between 800 and 950 CE, the decline period of Maya civilization.
Ancient Mayan civilization. Picture courtesy: Press TV
“These reductions amount to only 25 to 40 percent in annual rainfall, but they were large enough for evaporation to become dominant over rainfall, and open water was rapidly reduced,” said Professor Eelco Rohling of Southampton University.
“Societal disruptions and abandonment of cities are likely consequences of critical water shortages, especially because there seems to have been a rapid repetition of multi-year droughts,” he added.
Scientists have been analyzing different factors that could have been involved in the collapse of the classic Maya civilization for years offering theories such as social unrest, disease and deforestation.
Meanwhile, experts with the Mexico's National Institute of History and Anthropology (INAH) have found an inscription which refers to the Mayan 2012 prophesy.
The Mayan brick which was found near the Comalcalco ruins in southern Mexico, is about 1,300 years old and is said to have been laid facing inward or concealed with stucco, implying it was not meant to be seen.
This is the second reference to the date in Mayan glyphs. The first one was a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
Although some experts say the date carved on the fragment is another reference to the Mayan 2012 apocalypse, many others still doubt that it is a definite reference to December 21, 2012 or December 23, 2012, the dates cited by proponents of the theory as the possible end of the world.
“I believe the date inscribed on the brick is a ‘Calendar Round,’ a combination of a day and month position that will repeat every 52 years,” said David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin.
Both Tortuguero tablet and the Comalcalco brick, were probably carved about 1,300 years ago and both are cryptic in some ways, experts claim.
The study suggests that the Tortuguero inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.
Some experts read the last eroded glyphs as perhaps saying, “He will descend from the sky.”
“Comalcalco Brick had been discovered several years ago and has been subject to thorough study. It is not on display and is being kept in storage at the institute,” said the spokesman for National Institute of Anthropology and History, Arturo Mendez.
The institute's experts say the Mayans saw time as a series of cycles that began and ended with regularity, but with nothing apocalyptic at the end of a given cycle.
“According to the Mayan concept, every 13 b'aktunoob ‘(which together account for 5,200 years) the cosmos is regenerated, completing a cycle of creation,” INAH said in a statement.
Meanwhile, according to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the team found an “important concentration” of graves along with architectural structures, ceramic pieces, lithic fragments and human burial sites in the rural community of Sitpach, some five kilometers east of the state capital of Merida.
Experts say the pieces date back to the Maya's Late Preclassic period, which “changes the previous chronology for this Maya region” in that part of the country, INAH said in a statement.
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