The Rise and Fall of Civilizations – Maya

Many would view the Mayan civilization with disdain and disgust at their culture of sacrificing human beings to please the Gods. Maybe some of us would even view them as savages and uncivilised individuals that were finally destroyed by the Spanish Inquisitors in the 16th century.

But history brings to light another perspective of the Mayan civilization. Located deep in the rainforest of Guatemala, the ruins of the famous Temple of Tikal and various other structures and statues stand testament to the grandeur and achievement of Mayan culture. Tikal itself was the home of some 100,000 people.

The Mayan civilization prospered for nearly 2,000 years. Their achievements included calenders and table of eclipses. They even had their own form of mathematics with the base number of 20 and had a concept of zero.

However, their success was not meant to last. In the ninth century, Tikal for some reason was deserted and abandoned to the mercy of the jungle. The Mayan civilization never recovered. Experts claimed that the collapse might be caused by warfare, migration, disease, or over-farming. Some say its a combination of these factors.

The latest discovery claims that it was drought that brought down the Mayas. One thing is for certain and that is that the sacrifice of human beings was not enough to ensure the survival of the Mayan civilization.

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