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The Rise and Fall of the Mayan Empire

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posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 10:27 PM
Can we now use modern technology to keep history from repeating inself? Can we study ancient ruins and find what caused their demise, and stop us from making the same mistakes?

November 15, 2004: Where the rain forests of Guatemala now stand, a great civilization once flourished. The people of Mayan society built vast cities, ornate temples, and towering pyramids. At its peak around 900 A.D., the population numbered 500 people per square mile in rural areas, and more than 2,000 people per square mile in the cities -- comparable to modern Los Angeles County.

This vibrant "Classic Period" of Mayan civilization thrived for six centuries. Then, for some reason, it collapsed.

From pollen trapped in ancient layers of lake sediment, scientists have learned that around 1,200 years ago, just before the civilization's collapse, tree pollen disappeared almost completely and was replaced by the pollen of weeds. In other words, the region became almost completely deforested.

Are we doing the same thing all over again, and then some? Deforestation is going on all over the world, along with overpopulation, pollution, war strife, terroism, biological warfare and much more. I hope we are smart enough to stop it this time. is this a glimpse of what we might do again? I don't think we will ever be truly"civilized" until we learn to overcome the human desire to destroy every natural resource we can find!

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 11:36 PM
soooooooo........ Lets see....the myans make one huge city the size of las vegas and this helped to bring them to their demise. The blame is put on them destroying thier forests by developing the city. Lets put this into today terms. How many cities do we have now? How much rain forest have we destroyed? Were still here. Don't know for how long though.

Good reads though.

If the Mayans one city lead to there demise.....we're in big trouble!

posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 04:28 PM
Actually, there were a bunch of Mayan cities all over what's now Yucatan in Mexico, western Belize, Guatemala and parts of Honduras.

And it wasn't an empire per se; it was more like the Greek City-States in the 4th and 5th century BC; constant fighting, alliances, re-alliances, etc.

Tikal (in Guatemala) and Copan (in Honduras) were sort of like Athens and Sparta, and they had, at different times, other smaller cities which they brought under thier respective orbits. For example, Cahal Pech and Xunantunich, both in Cayo district in Belize, were typically vassal states to Tikal (probably).

There are a lot of hypotheses as to why the Mayan culture disappeared (although the people have not; ther are still a lot of Mayans speaking Manay today). Ecological changes caused by slash-and-burn farming is aas good as theory as any, AFAIK.

BTW, here are a some pictures I took at Xunantunich and Cahal Pech earlier this month.

posted on Nov, 20 2004 @ 08:03 AM
I stand corrected. Thankyou for the information. Maybe I should have googled before I posted.

Still, was their empire (Greek-city states) as vast as ours? And does that mean that their constant growth lead to their destruction?

I think we have destroyed more. The article tries to point to deforestization and population growth as the cause for their demise.
I can't see how that could be a major cause.

Maybe it attributed to their demise. And maybe I misinterpreted what the article was saying. (although I just read it again, and still came to the same conclusion)

Anyhow. thanks for the knowledge Old Wise One. Today I know more then yesterday and you attributed to that.

posted on Nov, 20 2004 @ 02:15 PM
Wow, OTS. Awesome pics.

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