How The Mayan Civilization Ended

May 2, 2022
Nick

The jungle

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

As you most likely know, the Maya had built an incredible civilization in Central America until around 950 AD. What many people don’t know is that they had very little time to live up there existence before their decline.

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As far as we can tell, their land was affected by severe climate change around 9500 BC (a period known as the Younger Dryas). About 13 years later, just after 1200 BC, their magic wasn’t enough to save them from being overtaken by the Aztecs. Although the details differ between sources, it seems that either disease or war forced them to give up their large city lifestyle and retreat to small villages.

By 300 BC, their culture was so weakened that a foreign group of explorers named the Maya “the worst animals on Earth.” Though this may seem like it was a pretty sad ending, everything worked out for them!

Today, the Maya are still found throughout much of Mexico and Guatemala, with even some examples appearing elsewhere in Latin America such as Nicaragua, Honduras, and Colombia. Besides practicing their ancient beliefs, these days they also enjoy having coffee, smoking cigars, and reading about Jesus.

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The invaders

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

Long before the Maya met the Spanish colonists, they were conquered by another civilization, which ruled for roughly 300 years between A.D. 800 and 1,100. Known as the Aztecs, these people were from north of Mexico City.

The Aztecs took advantage of the Maya’s lack of awareness of war and its dangers to destroy them. As the Aztecs expanded, they found it necessary to conquer the older civilizations around them.

These empires, such as the Olmec and Tepetic-Mameum, had already learned how to use salt, cotton clothing, and writing through negotiations with the Maya. When the Aztec emperors realized that these peoples lacked the spirits needed to maintain their armies and sustain their cities, they exploited those weaknesses.

Imperialist nations have inflicted violence in many ways throughout history. But no case is more disturbing than the warfare perpetrated by the European colonial powers.

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Rather than bringing peace and democracy, colonialism resulted in prolonged wars between ancient cultures.

Today we are watching the rise of Islamist extremism across West Asia and North Africa thanks to the imperial overreach of Arab countries.

The disease

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

Archeologists have found evidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity in adults as young as 15. Children are suffering from mental disorders such as depression and aggression. Many children do not understand what is happening to them or why they are becoming sick.

Many teens believe that if they stop drinking coffee, water or soda, they will become healthy. But it’s clear that this idea has its downsides, especially given all the sugar contained in these drinks.

Obesity is just one problem caused by our overuse of sugar; there are many others. By having an unhealthy relationship with sugar, you also risk relationships, health and happiness problems and missing out on more important things in life.

Sugars absorb nutrients from your diet and use them for energy. Because they provide no calories or nutrient value, they are mostly used when you don’t feel hungry. With sugary foods, you can still enjoy tastes and textures, so you won’t feel like you’re eating too much.

This makes maintaining weight possible, even if you aren’t experiencing any hunger. Sugar doesn’t allow you to feel full. If you eat enough real food, you’ll feel filled up and satisfied.

That means you’ll naturally tend to eat less. And because sugary snacks and meals make you want to snack or eat more food, they keep you addicted. Avoiding sweets

They starved

The Maya loved their family, their gods and the life they had built for themselves. But it is clear that overpopulation was a problem for the ancients.

They tried many ways to solve this issue, but none of them worked.

Many argue that the solution could have included having fewer children, which would result in more individuals contributing to the population instead of only one per household.

But this option is not affordable for most people.

The ancient Maya developed a very sophisticated understanding of nature, including human nature, but due to environmental issues, as well as disease, they were not able to survive.

About 1492, there was a decline in population along with a rise in death rates among infants and young kids. By 1507, the pyramid shape pop culture had declined so much that there was no longer any food being produced.

By 1524, severe restrictions in agriculture and trade happened, leading to global economic problems. With no money, people lost faith in the market economy, causing further loss in tourism and productivity.

By 1617, after years of warfare between competing countries, there was a collapse in infrastructure development, resulting in even worse conditions for all. After more years of unrest, rebellion and repression, civil war really took its toll and by 1821, the empire had completely collapsed.

The virus

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

Within centuries, the civilization collapsed. A reason for this was that they were not able to replicate sufficiently to keep the gene pool populated. Alexander Svorćak describes it thus:

“Since their birth rates were so low, every child had to be given unique qualities, in order to keep population growth stable.

These qualities made them different from each other, and led to clannishness. They worked hard at preventing people from mixing with one another…”

A defining feature of these early societies was that they lacked an overarching framework within which all people could identify themselves and obtain status. This is what we would call a ‘culture of honor’.

When these peoples encountered others who sought alternate ways of living or attacking them, there was no mechanism in place to understand such behaviors and suppress them. As I mentioned earlier, this led to inter-group violence by individuals seeking to improve their social position.

This also contributed greatly to the crumbling of the political structures of the states, as smaller groups with more pronounced individual interests tore them apart. What happens when a group's resources (food, weapons, trade goods, etc.) are limited? Who has access to them? In a society where power resides in the hands of unequal leaders, those without authority will either have to take what they want by force or leave immediately.

Their leaders divorced

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

The story of the downfall of the Mayans is similar to that of many other civilizations. Divorce between the high-ranking members resulted in weakening, which led to their loss of power.

However, the destruction was made even worse by the fact that the Mayans had become embroiled in violent conflict over territory. Both groups were largely independent before, but when important people got married or having children, they started fighting with each other over land and resources.

When significant people left the group, it led to further decay of the culture as well as the government. At this point, invaders came along and tried to take over what remained.

This could be agents from another country, or terrorists who hate everything about being different and proud and want to destroy them.

They fought

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

According to Dresden, this uprising against the rulers of their homeland was orchestrated by residents of Dosawyeton in what is now present-day Petén, Guatemala. She says that it began as a series of individual actions that eventually became organized.

These rebel groups attacked cities and centers of power from their base in western Guatemala. Their goal, she says, was to force the ruling classes out of Mesoamerica and replace them with a new hierarchy.

The most powerful group in the region was Calakmul. It controlled city states such as Tikal and Maní. If these groups joined together, they would have had enough firepower and manpower to overpower the weaker leaders like Yaxuné and Mopánand put an end to the dynasty.

But instead of working together, according to Guenter, the various groups competed with each other for land and power. This led to fighting between them, creating a sort of “forest fire” effect.

According to Guenter, when the rebels reached the temples where prisoners were held, those who wanted freedom burned down the temples and killed any who tried to escape. Some historians believe there might have even been human sacrifice.

Eventually, the population grew too large to control properly, and slaves escaped into the surrounding areas. The war continued until nutrition levels decreased and disease ran its course, producing a weakened population.

Then, around AD 900, the people migrated north due to

They moved

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

The Maya, who were mostly farmers, began to migrate some 1,600 years ago. There are many theories for this migration, but it is generally accepted that high seas and harsh conditions contributed greatly to their being forced to leave their homeland.

It is known that there was war between the Toltec and Aztecs over control of certain regions. It is believed that the Mayans settled into Central America after abandoning Mexico.

Some experts believe the Mayas made their way north toward the Gulf ofMexico. This may seem surprising, given they lived in mountainous terrain and would have had difficulty navigating unknown lands.

However, Mayan religion played a major role in their journey. Experts note that religious beliefs provided motivation for the pilgrimage and could be used to convince members of the caravan to keep heading to the new land.

Also, we now know that though the mountains seemed impassable, there were natural routes through the forest that people use today. We also know that while these routes were guarded by steep cliffs, there were paths leading up/down which allowed people to climb them.

Finally, evidence suggests that the Mayans built boats using wood and ropes to paddle themselves across the water. Combined with knowledge of how to build sails, this proves that they were able to sail throughout the Caribbean Sea and perhaps as far south as Florida.

The loss of faith

How the Mayan Civilization Ended

As progress was being made in science, technology, engineering, and math (math being one of the reasons why the mayans believed their world was ending), the mayas’s belief in an omnibenevolent creator lost its appeal.

As they developed more intricate ball courts for playing games with each other, and to demonstrate their status within the tribe, they began to play these game with balls that were larger than any we have today.

They no longer played games just to win; instead, they played to see who could lose him opponent most quickly. What was once considered evil was now fun, and even revolutionary.

The players would get together to try to increase their chances of winning. This is where stories about gods are told, but not anyone loyal enough to be invited into the game.

Thus we have come to believe that there were bad people out there trying to improve their odds when competing against our favorite team. There must always be someone better at something or else you aren’t thinking strategically.

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