It is a mystery about how the ancient Mayan Civilization collapsed. Everything from asteroid collisions to divine intervention has been proposed. A new study which examined the minerals which have been found in the now famous underwater cave in Belize, known as the Blue Hole, were surprised to find evidence of extreme drought between 800 to 900 AD. The period corresponds to the decay and the fall of the Mayan civilization. Could drought have been the cause of the extinction of the Mayan Civilization?
New studies conducted under the aegis of Rice University in Houston links drought as one of the causes for the ultimate demise of the Mayan Civilization which flourished in the region comprising present day Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The civilization flourished for 2000 years before its demise which started sometime around the 8th century AD, the cities became abandoned and were left in ruins.
Mayan civilization was very advanced in the arts of sciences, astronomy, and mathematics, writing system, calendars and monumental constructions. They built magnificent cities like Tikal and were ruled by elite who had under their command mighty armies. However this flourishing civilization became extinct in a span of 100 years.
Scientists are linking the fall of the Mayan Civilization to the scarcity of water making it difficult for them to engage in agriculture. The draught brought along with it famine and also unrest. The study also revealed that the region was hit by 1 or 2 cyclones in two decades in the two centuries in which the civilization declined as opposed to 5 to 6 during the normal course of time.
The study came to this conclusion that sharp declines in rainfalls coincided with periods of decline in the Mayan culture after analyzing a 2,000-year-old stalagmite from a cave in Belize.