Maya Collapse Research Paper

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The collapse of the Maya civilization is one of the biggest archaeological mysteries. With Jared Diamond five point frame work in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, three factors are crucial for the reasons why Maya collapsed. Jared Diamond identifies his position in his book collapse as the “middle of the road perspective” with experience of both environmental problems and business realities. The three points that fit in to his five point framework are Mayas hostile neighbors, trade industry, and environmental problems. The first factor of three for why Maya collapsed is hostile neighbors. Archaeological evidence insinuates a theory of foreign invasion in Mayan territories from a non-Maya group could be the result…show more content…
It is also thought that Teotihuacan influence across the Maya region may have involved some form of a military invasion. But, it is noted that the Teotihuacan-Maya interactions take effect in the early classic period and way before the collapse period Another factor of why Maya collapsed is friendly trade. It has been hypothesized that the collapse is related to Mayas decline in their trade systems. Obsidian or volcanic glass were precious materials traded and used by inland Maya communities during the Classic Period, only years before the collapse. Trade of obsidian or any resource was very important for Mayas survival Mayas former inland trade system evolved into a mainly coastal system. This suggests that the inland Maya communities no longer had easy access to obsidian and other resources. After the change, the populations in inland areas drastically declined. For these reasons it may have been this changing route of exchange and the decline of access or ability of people at these inland centers to get obsidian through the riverine trade routes, that Maya…show more content…
Maya people would also need a substantial supply of hardwood. Wood is necessary to the people for cooking, construction, wood to fuel the fires that cook the lime plaster, and specifically for producing white lime. White lime was used in great quantities for processing corn before grinding and for plastering the floors and walls of their architecture. For the Maya peoples elaborate constructions, experts estimate it would have taken 20 trees to produce a single square meter of cityscape. Thus the demand for the abundant amount of hardwoods would have led to deforestation. Under these conditions of deforestation, heavy rainfall would rapidly lead to soil erosion. On the contrary if the region experienced a long period of drought, (which are made worse by deforestation) most crops would have failed. If these conditions persisted for any length of time, Farmers would have likely depleted their seed corn and would have been unable to produce enough food to meet the demands of the large population. The peoples decrease in diet would lead to poor nutrition that would increase the occurrence of

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