Did climate change have a role in the decline of the Mayan civilization?



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    Although there is no universally accepted theory to explain the collapse of Maya civilization, current theories are based on non-ecological and ecological causes. Non-ecological theories of Maya decline are divided into several subcategories: overpopulation, foreign invasion, peasant revolt, and the collapse of key trade routes. Ecological theories include environmental disaster, epidemic disease, and climate change. “There is evidence that the Maya population exceeded carrying capacity of the environment including exhaustion of agricultural potential and overhunting of megafauna.” It is also theorized that an intense 200 year drought led to the collapse of Maya civilization; this theory originated from research performed by physical scientists studying lake beds, ancient pollen, and other data (not from the archaeological community). So, to answer your question, no one really knows, and we may never know.

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