Free «The Mayans» Essay Sample

David Hodell in the company of fellow scientists Jason Curtis and Mark Brenner performed radio carbon dating on remains gastropods and ostracods. These are remains that are usually considered to have lived for centuries. An oxygen isotope analysis of the latter revealed variation in the level of precipation.From the analysis, the three renowned scientists came up with a conclusion that Maya had indeed experienced droughts in three phases. They also found a layer of sediment gypsum in the bottom of the lake. Naturally gypsum remains dissolved but will crystallize if the lake levels drop due to solar heat. The droughts were said to have occurred between 475 BC and 250 BC.

Although other scientists have supported mega-drought idea, critics have also not been left behind. They wonder why northern cities such as Chichen itza,Coba and Uxmal were not affected by the so called mega drought to an extent that they were not left behind. A well known critic of the theory-David Webster argued that if all water in the area had dropped in level, Lots of other city states in the region would have moved in search of water (Mayans,1944). Critics of the theory also point fingers at the idea that the regions climate had changed drastically acclaim that is termed misjudged as modern rainfall pattern indicate heavier rains in southern highlands in contrast to lighter rains in northern parts of Yutacan.It is also argued that the inhabitants of Yucatán area had plenty of access to seafood.

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Nature versus nature has been the subject of discussion among scientists dealing with the subject.Mordern studies employs sophisticated methods in handing data. This engulfs the field of biophysics, climatology and land. Most studies today tend to accept that most of the theories postulated partially had roles in the collapse of Maya. They argued that sole contributions of theories created were highly unlikely but most of them at least proved vital in the concept.

From his studies Haug G.H concluded that “given the perspective of our long time series, it would appear that the droughts we have highlighted were the most severe to affect this region in the first millennium A.D.”  Although some of these spectacular droughts were “brief,” lasting only between three and nine years, they occurred during an extended period of reduced overall precipitation that may have already pushed the Maya system to the verge of collapse,” This thus tells us that Mayan civilization collapsed between dark ice age period and medieval warm period (Kallen,2001).


Lots of studies are still being undertaken regarding Maya in general. More and more scientific analysis of data will shed more light on the matter. This in particular will be made much easier with development of technologically advanced equipment.

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