Maya has lived in Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula since at least 1800 BC and has prospered in this area for thousands of years. According to countless studies, the Maya civilization collapsed between 800 and 1000 AD. However, while the term “Maya collapse” gives the image of forested ruins and ancient civilizations that have collapsed and abandoned cities, the reality is much more complicated.
So why did the Maya civilization collapse, and can you even call it a “collapse”?
For starters Maya I’m here today as well. “It was Maya’s political system that collapsed, [their] Lisa Lucero, a professor of anthropology and medieval studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told Live Science in an email.
The ancient Mayans were not integrated into a single state, as there was no central leader like the ancient Roman emperors. Instead, the ancient Mayan civilization consisted of a number of small states, each centered around a city. Although these city-states shared cultural and religious similarities, each had its own local leaders, some of which were stronger than other states. There was no single collapse in these regimes. Rather, according to scholars, many Maya cities went up and down at different times, some within the 800-1000 period and some afterwards.For example, in southern Mesoamerica Tikal In present-day Guatemala, due to environmental problems and political turmoil, it declined in the 8th and 9th centuries, and its population increased in other areas, including: Chichen Itza, Scholars talked about what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
“Collapse is not a term that should be universally applied to the Maya and should not be called a single term,” said Marilyn Masson, a professor and dean of the Department of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Albany. , Spoke to Live Science by email. “The Maya region is large, with many regimes and environments, and the Maya family spoke multiple languages.”
When Chichen Itza declined, another city on the Yucatan Peninsula, called Mayapan, began to prosper, mainly due to the long drought of the 11th century. “Mayapan had lords, priests, hundreds of religious hieroglyphic books, complex astronomy, and the Pantheon of the gods,” Masson said. “Much of what we know about the early Maya religion comes from books written during the Mayapan era and from the descendants who met European contacts and survived.”
Mayapan declined before contact with Europe, partly because of the war, but when the Europeans arrived, another Yucatan peninsula ruin called Tiho was growing, Masson said. ..
Maya continued to exist after the region was devastated by the war and illness caused by the European conquest in Central America. Guy Middleton, a visiting scholar at the Faculty of History, Classics and Archeology at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, said:
Why did they fall?
The mix of political and environmental issues is usually due to the decline of Maya’s cities.
Product analysis, Or the rock structure of caves such as stalactites and stalagmites, “has been severely drought for several years. [A.D.] 800 and 930 in southern Mesoamerica, “said Lucero. “And the most powerful Mayan kings relied on urban reservoirs to draw farmers and target audiences to access clean drinking water each year during the dry season, lowering water levels as rainfall decreased. Failed, and the king lost the means of power. “Furthermore,” the reduction in rainfall exacerbated the problems the king had, “she said.
The fact that Maya rulers often tied their powers to the gods caused more political problems. The problem that Maya suffered from the drought was that “it caused people to lose trust in the ruler. This is not just the loss of trust in the government when the ruler is intimately associated with God.” Said Justin Shaw, a professor of anthropology at Redwoods University. In California. Drought, coupled with political turmoil, disrupted the maintenance of agriculture and water storage systems, resulting in Maya rulers wasting resources in the war, Shaw said.
Lucero pointed out that deforestation in parts of the Maya region would make it difficult to trade commodities when water levels were low. “Lower rainfall can affect canoe trading, as water levels drop significantly during the dry season, so less rain means less canoe movement,” said Lucero.
However, a “collapse” in one area can be a period of “boom” in another.The Kochua region of the Yucatan Peninsula prospered during the Terminal Classic era [800 to 930] After much of the South has been depopulated due to drought and political conflict. “But that also eventually lost many of its residents,” Shaw said. We are currently investigating why Cochua has boomed and collapsed.
This pattern of decline in one region and growth in another continued until the time of the European conflict with the cities of Maya. Political and environmental problems often led to the decline of one region, while others grew, probably because they did not suffer so much from these problems.
After the last Mayan state was conquered by the Spaniards in 1697, the Maya people endured discrimination and sometimes continued to rebel against the government that came to power after Spain and the Spanish colonial rule ended in 1821. I did. He rebelled regularly and failed. They still lack enough political representation in the country they live in, “Middleton told Live Science.
“It’s very important to convey the message that the classic Mayan cities and states have collapsed, the culture has changed, but the Maya never disappeared,” Middleton said, “we are a story, a state. Attention should be paid to, and the current state of the Mesoamerican Maya descendant population. ”
Originally published in Live Science.
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