Mystery of Mayan Civilization

686 Words3 Pages
Mystery of Mayan Civilization Fawn Barrette Professor Ewing Humanities 111 25 April 2012 Abstract What happened to the Maya civilization? It seems that around 800AD the Maya population had reached an all time high, but in 900AD the population crashed. (Scott, 2004) The people seemed to have simply disappeared and many theories evolved to try to explain this. Some of the theories are: earthquakes, climatic changes, epidemic diseases, social decay and deforestation and drought, but of course the Mayan people did not totally disappear and there are some Mayan descendants still living around the area and most of these theories have been disputed. The first theory is that widespread disease could have caused some rapid depopulation through the spread of infection itself and indirectly as an inhibition to recover over the long run. (Wikipedia, 2012) Some of the diseases were infectious and caused by parasites such as Ascaris (roundworms) and American tryponosomiasis (sleeping sickness caused by an insect bite). These diseases were common in tropical rain forest regions such as the Maya lowlands. These parasites could have caused acute diarrhea illnesses, and if those illnesses occurred at an early age then it would have affected the natural development of a child in turn could have left them more susceptible to other diseases later in life. (Wikipedia, 2012). The second theory is that the overpopulation caused deforestation (Tom Sever, NASA Archeologist) and then a drought made it hard to sustain life. The second theory has more evidence to support the theory, in fact decades of research has shown that “the Maya had completely transformed the land they lived by turning jungles into vast area of plains, filled with cities, farms and an ever growing

More about Mystery of Mayan Civilization

Open Document