Maggie sent me this interesting link about the end of the Mayan civilization. The explanation for the disappearance of their culture is a matter of some speculation, but recent evidence provides strong clues about what did them in. Among the biggest culprits: deforestation, over-farming, and drought. By stripping the surrounding countryside of trees, they helped seal their own fate.
I think it’s odd that quite a few people today believe that the ancient Mayans produced a calendar that predicts a massive, world-wide, unspecified event / catastrophe/ salvation (choose one) in December of 2012. The Mayans produced an impressive civilization, but let’s not get carried away. These are the same Mayans who practiced bloodletting, human sacrifice, dental mutilation, and most likely destroyed their own ecology. The 2012 date is just when their calendar turns over, the disaster bit is strictly a modern confabulation by new agers.
I like this research on the Mayans because it helps expose the myth that “primitive” humans lived in perfect balance with nature. In reality, our historic and prehistoric ancestors hunted animals to extinction and otherwise messed with their environment in a big way. They were a lot like us.
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