Why the ancient Maya died out: It turned out that their population was constantly declining due to climate change

(ORDO NEWS) — A study by McGill University, Canada found that the Mayan population in the city of Itzan (present-day Guatemala) has changed greatly due to the climate.

The results of the work show that drought, alternating with very wet periods, has led to a significant reduction in the population.

The results of the study shed light not only on the history of the Maya, but also once again prove the connection between man and climate.

The results of the study are based on the use of a new methodology, including the study of stanols (organic molecules found in human and animal feces) taken from the bottom of a nearby lake.

Using this technique, the researchers were able to analyze changes in the Maya population in the Itzan city region.

They were also able to identify changes in settlement patterns that have taken place over hundreds of years and are associated with changes in land use and agricultural practices.

Moreover, scientists have found that these lands were inhabited earlier than previously thought.

Fecal stanol evidence suggests that humans were present in these areas some 650 years earlier than archaeological evidence suggests.

The stanol analysis also showed that the Maya population declined due to drought in three different periods: between 90-280 CE and 280 CE. e., between 730-900 AD. e. and during the much less well-studied drought between 1350-950 BC. e.

The researchers also found that the population declined during a very humid period from 400 to 210 BC. which has received little attention so far.

“It is important for society as a whole to know that there were civilizations before us that were affected by climate change but adapted to it,” said Peter Douglas, senior author of the work.


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