An ancient civilization's wet ascent, dry demise

Newly documented climate shifts helped shape Classic Maya destiny

By Bruce Bower, 14:47 PM November 8, 2012

Classic Maya civilization rose and fell with the rains.

This once-majestic society, known for massive pyramids and hieroglyphic writing, expanded during an unusually rainy time and declined as the sky’s spigots dried up and periodic droughts arrived, a new study suggests.

A 2,000-year climate record, gleaned from a stalagmite inside a Belize cave, highlights a central role for climate shifts in the ancient civilization’s fortunes, say anthropologist Douglas Kennett of Penn State University...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-civilizations-wet-ascent-dry-demise?mode=magazine&context=4541