Drought forced the Maya to leave the largest city on the Yucatan Peninsula

Paleoclimatologists believe that the city of Mayapan was the largest city and trading center of the Maya, that people left the city in the second half of the 15th century due to dry years that led to civil wars.

And the journal Nature Communications notes that the researchers came to such conclusions as a result of studying the ancient climatic, archaeological and anthropological heritage of Mayapan.

It is reported that the Maya civilization, which existed for several thousand years, left us many “dead cities” and cultural monuments in Mesoamerica. In the ninth century AD, most of the major cities of the Yucatán peninsula were driven out by a drought that lasted for several years and caused conflicts and civil wars.

The researchers were able to determine the age of more than two hundred residents of Mayapan, the largest Mayan city on the Yucatan Peninsula, between the 12th and 15th centuries AD. They also analyzed all written sources and tracked changes in the region’s climate.

It became clear to them that the city had witnessed much violence. The first was at the end of the 14th century due to the civil war that was caused by the uprising of the local nobility against the Kokum dynasty. The second was in the middle of the fifteenth century due to the turmoil caused by famine and the collapse of the Mayapan state.

According to researchers, both periods were associated with severe droughts that devastated the Yucatan Peninsula in 1380-1400 and in 1430-1460.

Professor Hodel and his research team suggest that an additional factor in the disappearance of the city were similar droughts that occurred at the same time in the Aztec Empire, which was Mayapan’s main trading partner.

Scientists believe that the combination of these factors led to the fall of central power and the formation of 15 small states in the Yucatan that existed before the conquest of Central America by the Spaniards.

Source: TASS