November 10, 2012 4:49
Studies stalagmites in the cave have allowed scientists to determine that the Mayan civilization, which for three thousand years, occupied the territory of Central America, for some two centuries killed problems with the weather.
Trying to explain the mystery of the sudden collapse of such a thriving civilization, scientists for "weather" hypothesis before, but she had many enemies, and still serious, material and arguments in favor of it was not. Now these arguments appear. An international team of researchers from the UK, Switzerland and the United States published in the journal Science article on the results of the isotopic analysis of stalagmites of two thousand years of age, which showed a surprisingly strong correlation of climatic conditions with periods of prosperity and decline of this ancient civilization.
Each year, the isotopic composition of rainwater in the same area is slightly different, so the isotopic structure of the stalagmite keeps centuries of rain.
Stalagmite samples, studied by scientists, were taken out of the cave Yoke Balum in the south of Belize is about a half km from the ancient city Ushbenka related to the so-called classical period of the Maya (from the 3rd to the 9th century AD), and close to several other Maya cities that have similar climatic history. Stalagmites give researchers an unprecedented accurate information about the levels of annual rainfall, and now had to compare the resulting climate reconstruction with the available data on the history of the Maya.
And they had nothing to compare.
All the important political events meticulously recorded the ancient Maya, knocking on stone monuments hieroglyphic messages — the wars, the number of dead and captive enemies, changing rulers, august weddings …
This tradition between eight hundredth and thousandth years ceased to exist, that's when the Maya civilization began to quickly crumble.
The comparison showed that the rise and fall of the Maya with amazing accuracy coincided with periods of heavy rainfall and droughts. So, rain, rained on them during the 450-660's, led to the growth of population and rapid growth of these cities in the valleys of Central America, such as Tikal, Copan, Karakol. And then, one by one went droughts, their series lasted four centuries. The lack of water has caused the decline of agriculture has contributed to the social stratification and the subsequent political collapse, when the Kings were rapidly losing its influence. When this collapse captured all the main centers Maya followed by another, the biggest shock — the drought, stretched for nearly a century, from 1020 till 1100-th years.
That happened at the time, records on stone monuments no longer exist.
However, scientists believe that the situation has evolved in much the same as it has evolved in places much later — during the severe drought of 1535-1575, which just left a lot of written evidence. These were the years of hardship — loss of harvests, war, epidemics, mass movements of the masses of people in Mexico.
According to lead author Kenneth Douglas, Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, the impact of climate change on the political system is very complicated, and abrupt climate change — only part of the impact. "In addition to the drought played an important role here and previous weather conditions, — he says. — They set the stage for the subsequent impact on all sectors of society and the collapse of the political institutions of the Maya. "