Why Did the Maya Abandon Tikal?


Why Did the Maya Abandon the Ancient City of Tikal?

by Alex Fox/Smithsonianmag.com

the ninth century A.D., the Maya abandoned the great city of Tikal after hundreds of years of prosperity and expansion. Researchers have long sought to explain how and why the city collapsed, but despite extensive study of the site, unanswered questions remain.

Commonly cited explanations for Tikal’s downfall center on a confluence of overpopulation, overexploitation of the surrounding landscape and a spate of withering megadroughts. Now, reports Kiona Smith for Ars Technica, a new study of the ancient city’s reservoirs outlines evidence that mercury and toxic algae may have poisoned Tikal’s drinking water at a time when it was already struggling to survive the dry season.

Located in northern Guatemala, Tikal dates back to the third century B.C. Once among the most powerful city-states in the Americas, the rainforest metropolis boasted multiple stone temples standing more than 100 feet tall and, at its zenith in the mid-eighth century, supported upward of 60,000 inhabitants, according to David Roberts of Smithsonian magazine.

Tikal’s residents built reservoirs to collect and store water after rainfall slowed to a trickle during multi-decade droughts in the ninth century. These reservoirs were essential during the dry season, as …read more:


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  1. El Mundo Perdido dates back 40,000 years. This is quietly confirmed in private with archeologists, and each time they end by saying, but I cannot say that in a classroom or in writing. Welcome to the brick wall in archeology and anthropology.
    Notice how the “experts ” that are constantly saying things are a mystery , do not consult the current elders, who by academias own admission are the worlds leading experts on time.
    It gets to the point where it is just silly to see, so much energy spent on a topic such as the Maya, when you can get the information from their museums and colleges, or from their elders. They know where all this stuff is and it was never abandoned completely. So any claim of “discovery” is bizarre.
    That temple in the photo, is tuned. At certain times of the day, one enters that chamber, and can hear.
    The Catholic driven effort, to disallow elders to perform ceremony there continues. I was there with several elders including Don Alejandro who at the time had an office in the presidential palace, and trucks came flying in and shotguns were pointed at us. They tried to accuse us of climbing on the pyramids, certain ones, it is not permitted. The one they thought we climbed was the one where the “omni’s” land.

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