Severe Drought May Have Helped Hasten Ancient Maya’s Collapse


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Chemical signatures from sediments in lake cores reveal that the centuries-long drought during the fall of Classic Maya civilization was worse than researchers had imagined.

For centuries, the Maya people relied on rain to keep them alive. But then, suddenly, the skies went dry.

At least, that’s what the latest research suggests.

From about 250 to 900 CE, the Maya thrived in what’s known as its Classic period. During this time, the Maya built cities with plazas and multistory temples, devised a complex calendar system, and housed an urban population density that rivals Los Angeles County today.

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