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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 23-11-2005 17:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Clues to collapse of the Maya provided by discovery of royal graves

A grave holding up to 50 bodies is helping archaeologists piece together the fall of the Central American Mayan civilisation. The bodies are of men, women and children, thought to be nobles, and they have been buried with jewellery after being put to death with a spear through the chest. The site is in the Guatemalan jungle in the ancient city of Cancuen, which prospered along the trade route of the river Pasion. The graves were uncovered earlier this year by a team involving US archaeologist Dr Arthur A Demarest while excavating a pool in one of Cancuen’s palaces; the research was published last week and was funded by National Geographic magazine and Vanderbilt University. (November 22nd)

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PostPosted: 14-12-2005 07:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Mayan treasure found in Guatemala


Archaeologists working in Guatemala say they have uncovered one of the most spectacular pieces of artwork created by the ancient Mayan people.
They say they have discovered a mural depicting the Mayan creation myth and the coronation of a king, thought to be more than 2,000 years old.

Archaeologist William Saturno said it was like finding the Mayan equivalent of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.

The mural was discovered at the San Bartolo site in northern Guatemala.

'Unique' find

Mr Saturno, of the University of New Hampshire, said the mural - painted in greyish blue, orange and flesh tones - was discovered at the western wall of a room attached to a pyramid.

The mural on the wall - measuring 0.9x9m (3x30 ft) - includes four deities, which are variations of the same figure, the son of the maize god, offering a blood sacrifice from his genitals.

The first deity stands in the water and offers a fish, establishing the watery underworld, Mr Saturno said.

The second stands on the ground and sacrifices a deer, establishing the land; the third floats in the air, offering a turkey to establish the sky; and the fourth stands in a field of flowers, the food of gods, establishing paradise.

The crowned Mayan king is depicted at the end of the mural, Mr Saturno said.

"It was like discovering the Sistine Chapel if you didn't know there had been a Renaissance," Mr Saturno said at a news conference.

"It's like knowing only modern art and then stumbling on the finger of God touching the hand of Adam," he said.

Mr Saturno first reported the discovery of the site in 2002.

The western wall is thought to be painted about 100 BC, but was later covered when the room was filled in.

Archaeologists say the artwork is particularly unique because it dates from hundreds of years before the classical Mayan period.

The Mayans - known for their prowess in astronomy and mathematics - dominated southern Mexico and parts of Central America for some 1,500 years until the Spanish conquered them 500 years ago.

The mural and William Saturno's research will be featured in the January issue of National Geographic magazine.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4526872.stm
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PostPosted: 16-12-2005 16:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Discovery of Mayan 'Sistine Chapel' rewrites ancient history

An accidental discovery of a Mayan mural considered the equivalent of the Sistine Chapel has prompted historians to reconsider the age of the Central American civilization. Archaeologist William Saturno stumbled across the stunning nine-metre mural by chance at the site of San Bartolo in Guatemala. Describing the moment he saw the vibrant mural in a tunnel, he stated: ‘I had accidentally made the discovery of a lifetime - a small portion of a brilliantly painted mural more than 2,000 years old.’ The well-preserved plaster work was made in 100BC and depicts a maize-god deity offering sacrifices and another section shows the coronation of royalty. (December 16th)

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PostPosted: 06-01-2006 13:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Mayan hieroglyphics discovered dating to 3rd century BC

Hieroglyphics discovered in an ancient Mayan temple in Guatemala date to the third century BC, showing Mayan writing developed much earlier than believed, according to research published Thursday.

The hieroglyphics, found on a block of stone in the Mayan pyramid Las Pinturas in San Bartolo, northeastern Guatemala, were dated to 200 to 300 BC, placing Mayan writing together with the earliest examples of script elsewhere in Mesoamerica, said the study published in the January 6 edition of Science.

Researchers led by anthropologist William Saturno of the University of New Hampshire examined the writings on a fragment of painted block from a room richly decorated with polychrome murals deep inside the pyramid.

The block had ten Mayan hieroglyphs painted in heavy black lines on top of white plaster. Although clear in their rendering, deciphering the writing "remains a challenge", the researchers said, because they date centuries before the earliest fully legible Mayan writings.

One of the glyphs was clearly recognized and understood from later Mayan texts as the title "ajaw", meaning "lord" or "noble" or "ruler".

Others appeared to be pictorial, one suggesting a hand holding a brush or a blood-letting instrument.

Still others were abstract and unfamiliar, the scientists said, "probably ancestral to components of later Maya script".

The radiocarbon dating of wood associated with the script on the block placed it between 200 and 300 BC, much older than the 100 BC-100 AD dating previously established for the earliest Mayan writing.

The discovery raises new questions about the relationship of Mayan writing to the previously understood oldest script of the region, Epi-Olmec used by neighboring peoples to the west, the study said.

Established writing systems in what is now Oaxaca, Mexico and elsewhere have been dated to 400 BC.

"It now appears that the Maya also participated in the Pre-classic cultures of literacy, and at a significantly earlier date than previously believed," the study said.


http://www.physorg.com/printnews.php?newsid=9629
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PostPosted: 10-01-2006 19:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heres are a couple pictures I took 1 week ago from Cozumel mexico, an island from the coast of mexico. The first is of some mayan ruins.

http://home.comcast.net/~Travis.Wolfe/Carribean/Carribean_0028.jpg

Recent hurricane damage has stripped most trees bare.
http://home.comcast.net/~Travis.Wolfe/Carribean/Carribean_0022.jpg
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PostPosted: 22-05-2007 16:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Ancient Maya Tomb Found: Upright Skeleton, Unusual Location
Kelly Hearn
for National Geographic News

May 17, 2007
Archaeologists working in Honduras have discovered an entombed human skeleton of an elite member of the ancient Maya Empire that may help unravel some longstanding mysteries of the vanished culture.

The remains, seated in an upright position in an unusual tomb and flanked by shells, pottery, vessels, and jade adornments, suggest a surprisingly diverse culture and complex political system in the influential Maya city of Copán around A.D. 650.




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Oldest Known Maya Mural, Tomb Reveal Story of Ancient King (December 13, 2005)
Earliest Maya Writing Found in Guatemala, Researchers Say (January 5, 2006)
Genographic Project: Atlas of the Human Journey

Located at the western edge of modern-day Honduras near the border with Guatemala, Copán, was one of the most important Maya sites, flourishing between the fifth and ninth centuries A.D. (Honduras map).

But until now, much about the political makeup and cultural range of the city—famous for its funerary slabs—has been poorly understood. (Related: "Ancient Maya Royal Tomb Discovered in Guatemala" [May 4, 2006].)

The position of the body, the structure of the tomb, and several unexpected artifacts suggest the interred individual was a political or priestly figure, said discoverer Allan Maca, an archaeologist at Colgate University in New York State.

The entombed individual was found with "a jade pectoral hung from a necklace of dozens of jade beads of various sizes," Maca said. Because jade was a precious commodity, he added, the jewels represent "a level of control over economic resources."

"The incised design on the pectoral likely represents a political title or social affiliation that links this individual to other major sites around the city," Maca said.

The remains belong to a 50-year-old man with various illnesses. He had poor use of his left arm, poor arterial flow through his upper spinal cord, and a chronic infection of the skull known as mastoiditis, according to a bioarchaeological analysis by Katherine Miller of Arizona State University.

Off-Center

Maca discovered the tomb in 2005 in the Copán Archaeological park.

But Maca—whose work was funded by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration—only announced his findings last week, in conjunction with officials from the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, after months of excavation. (National Geographic News is owned by the National Geographic Society.)

"The tomb is characterized by a split vault created by interlocking lintels [load-bearing horizontal supports]," said Maca, who is also the director of the Project for the Planning of Ancient Copán.

Ancient Maya Tomb Found: Upright Skeleton, Unusual Location
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"The chamber was accessed from above by a stuccoed stone chute that descends from the surface of the temple," he continued.

Maca said the features allowed the tomb to be "reentered years after the original interment, for purposes of ancestor veneration."




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Oldest Known Maya Mural, Tomb Reveal Story of Ancient King (December 13, 2005)
Earliest Maya Writing Found in Guatemala, Researchers Say (January 5, 2006)
Genographic Project: Atlas of the Human Journey

The tomb's location, some 1,300 feet (400 meters) west of the Acropolis, Copán's ceremonial core, was unexpected, Maca added.

"The design is without precedent in the Maya area and is the first elaborate tomb construction to be discovered outside the ceremonial center of Copán," he said. (See pictures of what the Maya Empire might have looked like.)

The grandiose tombs belonging to members of the Copán dynasty, royal court, and royal family are typically found in Copán's Acropolis, Maca explained. Copán archaeologists have focused their research in the central area for many recent decades as well as much of the 19th century.

"As we begin to think more broadly about the great extent of the royal city, and about how to protect it against modern looting and population growth, we are coming to understand that the dynasty manifested its power in sectors of the Copán Valley that have never been explored," Maca said.

Oddities

There are other oddities to the tomb.

The position of the buried individual—seated with legs crossed—was not common in Copán or in the Maya lowlands during the Classic period, which lasted from about A.D. 300 to 900.

And several vessels found in the tomb, made in sets specifically for the burial, bear "a type of false or alternative hieroglyphics unlike those used by the ancient Maya," he said.

Some of the pottery vessels likely came from the south near present-day El Salvador, Maca added.

"Thus it is unlikely that these were made in Copán and probable that they signify some sort of cultural affiliation with that region," he said.

Also found in the tomb were seashells laid in a pattern that appears to represent a kind of cosmological map and may be representative of the waters in Maya creation mythology, Maca said.

The shells must have arrived to the region through commercial exchanges with the coast, Maca said.

The findings bring into clearer focus a picture of a Classic-period Copán society that was culturally diverse.

The discovery provides "an unusual archaeological context that helps expand our knowledge of the sociopolitical and cultural complexity of the ancient city and of the funerary and ritual landscape of the Copán Valley during the seventh century A.D.," Maca said.

Dario Euraque, director of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, said Maca's findings were significant for a number of reasons.

"Mainly, this is the first tomb to be found outside the principal monuments where all funeral sites are located," he said.

"We never thought we would find any in the Bosque, which is along the periphery of Copán."

He agreed that the artifacts and tomb characteristics were not representative of the Maya culture.

"This goes against theories that all populations in the Copán Valley were uniquely Mayan," he said. "There appears to have been a cultural mix."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/05/070517-maya-tomb.html

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PostPosted: 14-03-2009 22:30    Post subject: Archeologists find rare Maya panels in Guatemala Reply with quote

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Archeologists find rare Maya panels in Guatemala
By Sarah Grainger

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Archeologists have uncovered carved stucco panels depicting cosmic monsters, gods and serpents in Guatemala's northern jungle that are the oldest known depictions of a famous Mayan creation myth.

The newly discovered panels, both 26 feet long and stacked on top of each other, were created around 300 BC and show scenes from the core Mayan mythology, the Popol Vuh.

It took investigators three months to uncover the carvings while excavating El Mirador, the biggest ancient Mayan city in the world, the site's head researcher, Richard Hansen, said on Wednesday.

The Maya built soaring temples and elaborate palaces in Central America and southern Mexico, dominating the region for some 2,000 years, before mysteriously abandoning their cities around 900 AD.

The El Mirador basin was deserted much earlier with the large urban population leaving a complex network of roads and waterways and a massive pyramid now covered under thick vegetation.

The earliest written version of the Popol Vuh was discovered in the early 1700s by a Spanish colonial priest and the panels are the first known sculptural depictions of the main characters in the myth -- two hero twins, Hansen said.

"This is pre-Christian, it has tremendous antiquity and shows again the remarkable resilience of an ideology that's existed for thousands of years," Hansen, an Idaho State University archeologist who has worked at El Mirador for over a decade, said.

On one panel, the twins are depicted surrounded by cosmic monsters and above them is a bird deity with outstretched wings. On the other, there is a Mayan corn god framed by an undulating serpent, said Hansen who worked as a consultant for Mel Gibson's 2006 movie about the Maya, "Apocalypto."

TOURIST TRAIN

Spread over more than 500,000 acres (2,000 square km), El Mirador is three times the size of Guatemala's famous Tikal ruins, a popular tourist destination.

But El Mirador's conservation is threatened by drug traffickers who use the area to ship cocaine and heroin across the porous border with Mexico, deforestation by locals, looters who steal ancient artifacts to sell on the black market and wild animal poachers.

Last year, President Alvaro Colom announced the creation of a massive park in the dense jungle of northern Guatemala's Peten region, which would encompass both El Mirador and the already excavated Tikal.

The plan includes the construction by 2020 of a silent, propane powered train to carry thousands of tourists to the ruins, currently only accessible by helicopter or a two-day hike through the jungle.

(Writing by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


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And the alt-archeology take:

Quote:
13-3-2009



Guatemala: UFO experts amazed by Mayan panels just unearthed
Michael Cohen m.cohen@allnewsweb.com
Reuters reported this week that archaeologists working in deep in Guatemala’s northern jungle have unearthed incredible carved panels that are believed to depict scenes from Mayan creation myths involving monsters, serpents and deities. The panels were discovered on the site of El-Mirador, the largest known Mayan city in the world which is constantly being excavated revealing more surprises. The city itself is remarkable in that it contained the complex roads, canals and impressive structures one would expect of a modern metropolis. The sites head researcher Richard Hansen has dated the panels to around 300 BC
As expected there was no mention of aliens or UFOs in relation to the find. Ufologists have been concentrating in particular on Mayan civilization and mythology for decades, probably more so than any other ancient civilisation. Its astronomy and myths of immortal beings arriving from the stars to give humans knowledge are well known.
Ufologists are now marvelling at the latest images of Mayan mythology carved in stone. Many have already noted that the panel shown on the Reuters website clearly depicts a UFO surrounded by two non-human beings covered in some form of technological equipment.

Interestingly the date range given for the carvings puts their creation not long after Ezekiel’s graphic descriptions of wheels within wheels. To say that the similarity to Ezekiel’s wheels and ‘living creatures’ is striking might be putting it mildly.
I don’t think the proof of the theory that civilizations were once guided by alien visitors could get any stronger. The only question is when will our friends from space openly return and give us some guidance, possibly more needed now than then.


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SameOldVardoger
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PostPosted: 14-03-2009 23:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was about to say "Call Erich von Däniken!", but the UFO angle came fast.
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PostPosted: 29-06-2009 12:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just been watching Cities of the Underworld about Mayan sites in Belize.

One site involved descending down some caves which are believed to represent the 9 (?) levels of Mayan hell.

There was evidence of sacrifices and the such like, but the deepest depths were said to be ruled over by the God Ah Puch.

I was just wondering something, I know very little of Mayah history and beliefs, they show implied that there would have been great fear about visiting this deepest level of the caves. There must have been something down there that scared them.

I live near some caves and I get creeped out going down them - who doesn't if they are honest - but once you get to the bottom and there is nothing actually there you come out again.

Surely the Mayans would have gone down there, maybe sacrificed a few people, and realised there was actually nothing down there - or was the sacrifice believed to have protected them?

My theory - and I was wondering if anyone more aware of Mayan culture could shed any light on if this has been mentioned - is that could there possibly have been a case of a group within the society using the beliefs as a means of power?

In it's most simple explanation, could there have been a guy who would hide in the cave wearing an owl-head topped costume who would appear to Mayans venturing down the caves to reinforce their beliefs in the Gods as a means of controlling society? Perhaps even allowing those pulling the strings to get rid of enemies or undesirables by means of saacrifice.
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PostPosted: 29-06-2009 12:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hoping that they translate and find that it says "Long-count Calendar". part II, which would upset all the 2012 prophets of doom... Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: 24-07-2009 13:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Ancient Maya Practiced Forest Conservation 3,000 Years Ago
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722150825.htm

Temple 1 was built second, in 682 to 734 A.D., possibly completed after Jasaw Chan K'awiil's death. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati)

ScienceDaily (July 23, 2009) — As published in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, paleoethnobotanist David Lentz of the University of Cincinnati has concluded that not only did the Maya people practice forest management, but when they abandoned their forest conservation practices it was to the detriment of the entire Maya culture.

“From our research we have learned that the Maya were deliberately conserving forest resources,” says David Lentz, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cincinnati and executive director of the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies. “Their deliberate conservation practices can be observed in the wood they used for construction and this observation is reinforced by the pollen record.”

The UC team is the first North American team allowed to work at the Tikal site core in northern Guatemala in more than 40 years. The UC team is unique in other ways as well. Whereas previous archaeological excavations reflected an interest in culture history, particularly of the elites, researchers’ interests are different in the 21st century.

“Forty years ago the emphasis was on what king built what palace, who slew whom and who is portrayed on what stelae. It’s all about the rulers and their exploits,” says Lentz. “They didn’t look at the economy, agricultural practices, forest management or how the people and the culture functioned.”

And what the UC team has learned by studying these processes is that the Maya, at least initially, were practicing good forestry management.

“They were not allowed to cut down what we’re calling the ‘sacred groves,’” says Lentz. “Then that changed during the Late Classic period with Jasaw Chan K’awiil — one of the greatest figures of prehistory. The Tikal Maya had been beaten up and had fallen to second-rate status prior to his ascendancy. Jasaw Chan K’awiil led an army to the heartland of a competing city, Calakmul, captured their ruler, bound him, brought him back and sacrificed him — and it totally reversed their fortunes in a very dramatic way.”

After that, the Maya rebuilt the city of Tikal in a way never seen before. They begin building huge temples that required considerable resources, especially large, straight trees whose wood could withstand the weight of tons of stone. Their choices were limited to two types of trees only.

“So, unfortunately, Jasaw Chan K’awiil tapped into their sacred groves to do this,” says Lentz. The stands of virgin timber were more than 200 years old in some areas. After building a few of the temples, the Maya ran out of timber from the Manilkara zapota (sapodilla) tree, so they switched to an inferior tree —Haematoxylon campechianum, logwood or inkwood — which is found in swamps.

“Sapodilla is soft when you first cut it, so it can be carved into beautiful, intricate shapes. Yet when it dries, it is as hard as iron,” Lentz explains. “Logwood, on the other hand, is like iron to start with and stays that way.”

Logwood often is very crooked and grows to much lesser heights — so the archways in the temples built with logwood were far less ornate. Temples 1 through 4 are quite large, with temple 4 having the largest lintels, the beams over the doorways. Temples 5 and 6 (built in the middle — the temples are not numbered in order of construction) are much smaller.

“For the last temple (temple 3), they went back to sapodilla — why?” says Lentz. “Perhaps they had replanted after their sacred groves had been cleared of their timber. After 40 years you get a tree big enough with which to build. Also, at that point, things were beginning to go downhill for the Maya. Perhaps they reasoned that the gods didn’t like the new style of temple and they needed to return to the construction style of earlier, and more prosperous, times.”

So what led to the downfall of the Maya? Whether it was the gods’ displeasure or not, the answer came from the heavens.

“When you clear all the forests, it changes the hydrologic cycle,” says Lentz. “The world is like a flat surface with all the trees acting as sponges on it. The trees absorb the water. Without the trees, there is no buffer to stop the water from runoff. That causes soil erosion, which then chokes the rivers and streams. With no trees, you lose water retention in the soil or aquifers so the ground dries up and then there is less transpiration, so therefore less rainfall as well.”

In addition to using the trees as timber, the Maya also burned the trees, adding carbon to the air in the form of carbon dioxide. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and return oxygen in its place, thus cleaning and purifying the air.

“Forests provide many benefits to society,” says Lentz. “The Maya forests provided timber, fuel, food, fiber and medicine in addition to the ecosystem services of cleansing the air and water. Just as forests provided essential resources for the ancient Maya, the same is true for our civilization today.”

A UC research team, which will again include archaeologist Vern Scarborough and geographer Nick Dunning, will be returning to Tikal in February 2010. Some of the key questions that remain are how did the Maya control their water resources, when did the deforestation occur, what trees were used when, did the Maya plant large orchards and where were the sacred groves.

“We’re saying in the end they were unsuccessful,” says Lentz. “But they kept it going for several hundreds of years — so they must have done some things right.”

This research was funded by grants from WennerGren and National Science Foundation award #0810118.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapted from materials provided by University of Cincinnati.
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PostPosted: 15-10-2009 15:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

So mayabe they weren't so good at conservation after all.

Quote:
The Fall Of The Maya: "They Did It To Themselves"
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/The_Fall_Of_The_Maya_They_Did_It_To_Themselves_999.html
by Dauna Coulter

Huntsville AL (SPX) Oct 14, 2009
For 1200 years, the Maya dominated Central America. At their peak around 900 A.D., Maya cities teemed with more than 2,000 people per square mile - comparable to modern Los Angeles County.
Even in rural areas the Maya numbered 200 to 400 people per square mile. But suddenly, all was quiet. And the profound silence testified to one of the greatest demographic disasters in human prehistory - the demise of the once vibrant Maya society. What happened? Some NASA-funded researchers think they have a pretty good idea.

"They did it to themselves," says veteran archeologist Tom Sever.

"The Maya are often depicted as people who lived in complete harmony with their environment,' says PhD student Robert Griffin. "But like many other cultures before and after them, they ended up deforesting and destroying their landscape in efforts to eke out a living in hard times."

A major drought occurred about the time the Maya began to disappear. And at the time of their collapse, the Maya had cut down most of the trees across large swaths of the land to clear fields for growing corn to feed their burgeoning population. They also cut trees for firewood and for making building materials.

"They had to burn 20 trees to heat the limestone for making just 1 square meter of the lime plaster they used to build their tremendous temples, reservoirs, and monuments," explains Sever.

He and his team used computer simulations to reconstruct how the deforestation could have played a role in worsening the drought. They isolated the effects of deforestation using a pair of proven computer climate models: the PSU/NCAR mesoscale atmospheric circulation model, known as MM5, and the Community Climate System Model, or CCSM.

"We modeled the worst and best case scenarios: 100 percent deforestation in the Maya area and no deforestation," says Sever. "The results were eye opening. Loss of all the trees caused a 3-5 degree rise in temperature and a 20-30 percent decrease in rainfall."

The results are telling, but more research is needed to completely explain the mechanisms of Mayan decline. Archeological records reveal that while some Maya city-states did fall during drought periods, some survived and even thrived.

"We believe that drought was realized differently in different areas," explains Griffin. "We propose that increases in temperature and decreases in rainfall brought on by localized deforestation caused serious enough problems to push some but not all city-states over the edge."

The Maya deforested through the use of slash-and-burn agriculture - a method still used in their old stomping grounds today, so the researchers understand how it works.

"We know that for every 1 to 3 years you farm a piece of land, you need to let it lay fallow for 15 years to recover. In that time, trees and vegetation can grow back there while you slash and burn another area to plant in."

But what if you don't let the land lay fallow long enough to replenish itself? And what if you clear more and more fields to meet growing demands for food?

"We believe that's what happened," says Griffin. "The Maya stripped large areas of their landscape bare by over-farming." Not only did drought make it difficult to grow enough food, it also would have been harder for the Maya to store enough water to survive the dry season.

"The cities tried to keep an 18-month supply of water in their reservoirs," says Sever. "For example, in Tikal there was a system of reservoirs that held millions of gallons of water. Without sufficient rain, the reservoirs ran dry." Thirst and famine don't do much for keeping a populace happy. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

"In some of the Maya city-states, mass graves have been found containing groups of skeletons with jade inlays in their teeth - something they reserved for Maya elites - perhaps in this case murdered aristocracy," he speculates.

No single factor brings a civilization to its knees, but the deforestation that helped bring on drought could easily have exacerbated other problems such as civil unrest, war, starvation and disease.

Many of these insights are a result of space-based imaging, notes Sever. "By interpreting infrared satellite data, we've located hundreds of old and abandoned cities not previously known to exist. The Maya used lime plaster as foundations to build their great cities filled with ornate temples, observatories, and pyramids. Over hundreds of years, the lime seeped into the soil. As a result, the vegetation around the ruins looks distinctive in infrared to this day."

"Space technology is revolutionizing archeology," he concludes. "We're using it to learn about the plight of ancients in order to avoid a similar fate today."
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PostPosted: 15-10-2009 16:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know who's been going around saying the Maya were great conservationists. Reading standard popular-science archeology non-fiction, I thought it was clear that the Classic Maya were slash-and-burn agriculturalists who used up a site and moved on.
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PostPosted: 15-10-2009 16:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

The posting just above my last one.

Ancient Maya Practiced Forest Conservation 3,000 Years Ago
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722150825.htm
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PostPosted: 15-10-2009 17:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, missed that one...but still, the two findings are complementary, not contradictory. The first one referred to the conservation of specific kinds of trees and how the abandonment of this conservation coincided with the decline and fall; the second referenced deforestation generally, slash and burn agriculture throughout the history and the excessive use of wood in late Maya building projects. The only conceptual difficulty lies in thinking of "the Maya" rather than "the early Maya," "the classic Maya," "the late Maya," "the ruling Maya," "the farming Maya," etc.

For that matter, since "the Maya" still exist as a culture and a people, I'm not comfortable with the tendency to use the unmodified term to refer to the historical civilization. But we're all so used to doing it, I don't expect to reform anybody on the topic.
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