End of Mayan World Sped by 'Modest' Climate Change?
What happened? A lot of things, but two scientists now say a key factor may have been nothing more than what they call a "modest reduction in precipitation."
Drought and changing climate have been suggested before as factors that ended the Mayan era, but Martin Medina-Elizalde and Eelco Rohling, a team from the University of Southampton in England, went to the Yucatan Peninsula and figured out ways actually to measure long-ago rainfall. They measured oxygen isotopes in a stalagmite -- a pillar of sediment created by dripping water in a local cave -- and concluded that rainfall in the area probably dropped by about 40 percent between A.D. 800 and 1000.
Forty percent is bad, but modern societies, able to pump up groundwater or build dams, would probably get by. The Maya could not....
comments powered by Disqus
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- Archaeologists' findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
- 150 years of medical journals to go online
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies
- Italian forces in WW2 were not soft and Mussolini wasn't a clown, British historian claims