Possible role of climate in the collapse of Classic Maya civilization

  title={Possible role of climate in the collapse of Classic Maya civilization},
  author={David A. Hodell and Jason H. Curtis and Mark Brenner},
THE Maya civilization developed around 3,000 years ago in Mesoamerica, and after flourishing during the so-called Classic period, it collapsed around 750–900 AD1. It has been specula ted2–6 that climate change may have played a part in this collapse. But efforts to reconstruct the last three millennia of Mesoamerican climate using palynological methods have met with equivocal success, because human-mediated deforestation has altered regional vegetation in ways that mimic climate shifts, making… 
Impacts of Climate Change on the Collapse of Lowland Maya Civilization
Paleoclimatologists have discovered abundant evidence that droughts coincided with collapse of the Lowland Classic Maya civilization, and some argue that climate change contributed to societal
Climate impact on the development of Pre-Classic Maya civilisation
Abstract. The impact of climate change on the development and disintegration of Maya civilisation has long been debated. The lack of agreement among existing palaeoclimatic records from the region
Collapse of Classic Maya Civilization Related to Modest Reduction in Precipitation
It is concluded that the droughts occurring during the disintegration of the Maya civilization represented up to a 40% reduction in annual precipitation, probably due to a reduction in summer season tropical storm frequency and intensity.
Role of climate in the rise and fall of Neolithic cultures on the Yangtze Delta
Climatic changes in the Yangtze Delta have played an important role in the emergence, persistence and collapse of civilization. Archaeological excavations in the region over many years have
Quantification of drought during the collapse of the classic Maya civilization
Falling from a fall in rainfall How much did rainfall have to decrease to trigger the collapse of Lowland Classic Maya civilization during the Terminal Classic Period? This collapse is a well-cited
Since the late 1950s, scientists have used sediment cores from lakes on the Yucatan Peninsula to explore the complex interactions among climate, environment, and ancient Maya culture. Early
CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEFORESTATION: Implications for the Maya collapse
  • J. Shaw
  • Environmental Science
    Ancient Mesoamerica
  • 2003
During the ninth century, many sites in the Southern Maya Lowlands were abandoned as elite and commoners felt the effects of the Classic-period Maya collapse. At the same time, sites to the north and
Climate Variation and the Rise and Fall of an Andean Civilization
Paleolimnological and archaeological records that span 3500 years from Lake Titicaca and the surrounding Bolivian–Peruvian altiplano demonstrate that the emergence of agriculture (ca. 1500 B.C.) and
A 17 000‐year history of Andean climate and vegetation change from Laguna de Chochos, Peru
The manifestation of major climatic events such as the timing of deglaciation and whether, or not, the Younger Dryas affected Andean systems has garnered considerable recent attention. Even the


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Long held notions that climate has been stable over the Yucatan peninsula and that today's climate is an accurate reflection of past climates here are being challenged today by a number of
Reconstruction of Caribbean climate change over the past 10,500 years
SEDIMENT cores from low-latitude lakes provide some of the best records of tropical climate change since the late Pleistocene. Here we report a high-resolution reconstruction of Caribbean climate
Mayan Urbanism: Impact on a Tropical Karst Environment
It is concluded that riparian soils are anthrosols and that the mechanism of long-term phosphorus loading in lakes is mass transport of soil, which is likely to have dampened population growth at least until Late Classic time.
Changes in climate at La Yeguada were found to be largely synchronous with those documented at Lake Valencia, Venezuela, but no fine-scale climatic synchrony was apparent with South American or European sites, and significant departures from the predictions of published climatic circulation models are found.
Late Quaternary Environmental History of Lake Valencia, Venezuela
Chemical, paleontological, and mineralogical analyses of a 7.5-meter core from the middle of Lake Valencia, Venezuela, have provided information on the paleoclimatic history of this low-elevation,
Guatemalan forest synthesis after Pleistocene aridity.
  • B. Leyden
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1984
The Peten has the most mesic vegetation yet shown to have supplanted xeric vegetation present during the Pleistocene, and the arid late Glacial-humid early Holocene transition appears to have been pantropical in the lowlands.
Late Quaternary Aridity and Holocene Moisture Fluctuations in the Lake Valencia Basin, Venezuela
  • B. Leyden
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1985
The present study confirms the aridity of the late Glacial, but suggests that the early Holocene was considerably more mesic, while data presented for the mid and late Holocene indicate that effective moisture has varied, but that climates were never again as mesic as the earlyHolocene.
Holocene fires in Costa Rica
Charcoal fragments in soils and sediments document Holocene fires in the rain forests of the La Selva Biological Station in the northern Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica and in the paramo surrounding Cerro Chirrip6 in the Cordillera de Talamanca, suggesting that the rain forest and paramo fires occurred at similar times.