Mayans Themselves May Have Aided Collapse Of Empire

Editor’s note:  Sounds like history is repeating itself in the Amazon!

The city states of the ancient Mayan empire flourished in southern Mexico and northern Central America for about six centuries.  Then, around A.D. 900, Mayan civilization disintegrated.

Two new studies examine the reasons for the collapse of the Mayan culture, finding the Mayans themselves contributed to the downfall of the empire.

Scientists have found that drought played a key role, but the Mayans appear to have exacerbated the problem by cutting down the jungle canopy to make way for cities and crops, according to researchers who used climate-model simulations to see how much deforestation aggravated the drought.

“We’re not saying deforestation explains the entire drought, but it does explain a substantial portion of the overall drying that is thought to have occurred,” said the study’s lead author, Benjamin Cook, a climate modeler at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in a statement.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48752012/ns/technology_and_science-science/?ocid=ansmsnbc11#.UDeyksFlQkI

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s