A Rain Forest in Drought Scholars believe that the Maya relied heavily on rain to fuel their maize fields and fill drinking reservoirs. Previously published paleoclimate data gleaned from proxies within lake cores on the Yucatán Peninsula revealed that a drought befell the area during 800–1000 CE.
Not only did drought make it difficult to grow enough food, it also would have been harder for the Maya to store enough water to survive the dry season . The Maya used lime plaster as foundations to build their great cities filled with ornate temples, observatories, and pyramids.
The ancient Mayans may have had enough engineering know-how to master running water , creating fountains and even toilets by controlling water pressure, scientists now suggest. Scientists investigated the Mayan center at Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
Although much of the Maya life was spent doing hard work, they did enjoy entertainment as well. A lot of their entertainment was centered around religious ceremonies. They played music, danced, and played games such as the Maya ball game.
Although the Mayan people never entirely disappeared— their descendants still live across Central America—dozens of core urban areas in the lowlands of the Yucatan peninsula, such as Tikal, went from bustling cities to abandoned ruins over the course of roughly a hundred years.
Maya Civilization Timeline
|Evolution of Maya culture|
|Early Classic Maya||A.D. 250-600|
|Late Classic Maya||A.D. 600-900|
|Post Classic Maya||A.D. 900- 1500|
|Colonial period||A.D. 1500-1800|
Later on, people learnt to control their environment so they were no longer limited by such natural water supplies . A well-known example is the Roman aquaducts that supplied piped water to residences, eliminating the need to transport water in containers from place to place.
Summary: A water feature found in the Maya city of Palenque, Mexico, is the earliest known example of engineered water pressure in the New World, according to a collaboration between an archaeologist and a hydrologist. The city was abandoned around 800.
The Chapultepec aqueduct (in Spanish: acueducto de Chapultepec) was built to provide potable water to Tenochtitlan, now known as Mexico City. Two aqueducts following the same route from the springs were built by the Aztecs during the 15th century, the first destroyed by flooding and the second by the Spanish.
The Puuc lacks a water source—there are no lakes, rivers , or springs in the region. The ancient Maya built a sophisticated rainwater collection system. This system supplied inhabitants with enough water for several months.