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Showing posts from January 4, 2015

Research supports theory that drought and climate conditions reduced Mayans from a regional power to survivors abandoning cities to virtual extinction

Great Blue Hole off Belize yields new clues to fall of Mayan civilisation

What are sinkholes and what causes them?

Great Blue Hole, off Belize. Photograph: Alamy

Alan Yuhas

Saturday 3 January 2015 15.04 EST

A massive underwater sinkhole surrounded by reefs, caves and sharks has provided archaeologists with clues in the mystery of the fall of the Mayan civilization, according to new research.

Scientists from Rice University and Louisiana State University found evidence in Belize’s Great Blue Hole, a 400ft-deep cave in a barrier reef, that supports the theory that drought and climate conditions pushed the Mayans from a regional power to a smattering of rival survivors and finally a virtually lost civilization.

The researchers drilled into both the ancient sinkhole and a nearby lagoon to obtain rock and sediment samples from the era of the Mayan decline, between 800 and1000 AD. 

In those samples they tested the ratio of aluminum and titanium – a sign of heavy rainfall from tropical cyclones poun…

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