We have all heard of the Mayans and specially in 2012 concerning the now so famous Mayan end of the world prediction. The Mayans were a meso-American civilization of the Olmec culture. Their existence is listed at between 200 BC and AD 1530 and are attributed with the development of many aspects of a civilized world far ahead of their time. Mathematicians, astronomers, builders and agricultural wonders are only a few of the contributions attributed to the Mayans.

mayan civilization

In approximately AD 1530 the Mayan civilization had begun to decline rapidly and what remained of the Mayan cities were modern day ghost towns. This decline has been debated greatly among current historians. Two schools of thought point towards ecological and non ecological reasons for the decline.

There are numerous theories explaining the collapse of the Mayan civilization. Each presents valid, credible points outlining the slow decline and eventual disappearance of one of the most advanced tribes in history.

Mayan Civilization Collapse due to Drought

drought in mayan time

Many scholars believe the Mayan collapse began due to a series of long drought periods. Such events would hinder the adequate production of food stuff and eventually ending it completely.

Those who discount this theory do so from the position that the Mayans, a far advanced people, would have simply moved to better crop production areas. Because no evidence exists to support this movement, the drought theory loses support.

Mayan Civilization Collapse due to Military Intervention

mayan war

Possible invasion from outside military is yet another reason proposed for the Mayan collapse. From this viewpoint, historians support the idea that other civilizations could well have invaded the Mayans and captured them thus destroying them. Again this theory has discrepancies as well. Such an invasion would have been unlikely when one considers the period and the sheer undertaking of such an invasion as to destroy a civilization.

Mayan Civilization Collapse Due To Disease

Most recently, scientists have turned their work towards the possibility of disease. The climate was humid and would have supported a host of parasitic activity. As the Mayan civilization grew and spread, disturbances would have occurred which could have placed the people in contact with parasites that would promote disease and death.

If this were the case no member of the Mayans would have been spared. As with many diseases that attacked the human body, death can be a slow process dependent upon the strength and health of the individual attacked.

Mayan Civilization Collapse due to Revolution

mayan warlords

Lastly, a possible revolution by the Mayans lower class or peasant class is possible. It was this class that was responsible for the building and development of monuments and temples throughout the culture. The work would have been body breaking in poor conditions and would destroy many.

It is possible that the Mayan civilization collapsed because of a combination of these factors. If droughts came and produced a lack of food, yet monuments were still expected to be constructed, it is likely a revolt took place. When added to the possibility of disease, there would be fewer workers to complete ongoing projects and overtime construction would stop completely.

And what about our current civilization? When it is going to collapse due to our own fault and our own contribution to destroying our planet?

Update: A recent article on our sister site Sparking Dawn confirms a scientific study proving how the Mayans worsened the drought period which lead to their collapse.

5 Response Comments

  • Alberto Cordero  August 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Hi i hope you are doing well I would like to have more information about the resources of your investigation about the collapse of the Mayan Classic Period.
    Thank you
    Jose Cordero

    Reply
  • BOB  April 6, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    ok

    Reply
  • Verena  August 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    There many other factors which contribruted to the Collapse of the Maya Society.
    One lead to the other and caused its doom.
    -The slash and burn farming method plus Deforestation leading to loss of good soil and poor agriculture.
    -Poor farming methods and lower food supply for and increasing population leads to frustration.
    -Leaders of several Tribes or territories(internal war) wanting to invade the others’ territories to find better land/food supplies,etc.
    -War causing even more loss of resources and most importantly loss of human life
    The invaders might have then discovered a few thousands alive and destroying them was not a big deal since they were massively reduced in number due to the internal conflicts.
    Invaders then destroyed the rest.Very few survived.Sad story

    I have resources for the above mentionned factors.If someone needs them,I would be glad to send/show you these.

    Reply
  • enrolled agent  March 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

    “And what about our current civilization? When it is going to collapse due to our own fault and our own contribution to destroying our planet!”

    With the Global Warming / Greenhouse Phenomenon becoming very much evident as our days go by, I believe our end is not gonna too far into the future. If we do not do something to arrest the destruction that we bring everyday to the nature, the time might just come too soon.

    Reply
  • fadil.fr  February 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    The Mysterious Cities of Gold FTW!

    Reply

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