(NEWSER) – Everything from overhunting and a peasant uprising to deforestation and an alien invasion has been proposed to explain why the Mayan civilization collapsed, Smithsonian, notes. But one theory has been gaining ground in recent years: extreme drought. Now more evidence has surfaced to support the drought postulation—and the proof may just lie in Belize’s most famous underwater cave. Rice University professor Andre Droxler’s team analyzed sediment found in the “Great Blue Hole,” a 410-foot-deep sinkhole in the middle of Lighthouse Reef, LiveScience reports. Not only did the chemical composition of the silt indicate periods of sparse rainfall during the Mayan decline (likely between AD800 and AD1000): It also showed that a second huge drought probably occurred between AD1000 and AD1100—right around the time the Mayans’ relocation site of Chichen Itza is said to have fallen.
Over thousands of years, runoff from rivers and streams during periods of ample rainfall deposited layers of sediment in the Blue Hole’s lagoon, offering scientists a geological timeline to examine. “It’s like a big bucket,” Droxler tells LiveScience. “It’s a sediment trap.” Excessive rain also erodes volcanic rock, which contains titanium. Droxler’s team found that the sediment’s mineral composition—specifically, the low ratio of titanium to aluminum—in the lagoon indicated periods of low rainfall during the times when the Mayas, for the most part, disappeared. Scientists surmise that due to a climate glitch, monsoons may have skipped over the Yucatan Peninsula during these periods, leading to eventual catastrophe all around. “When you have major droughts, you start to get famines and unrest,” Droxler explains.
more recommended stories
Quintana Roo beaches threatened by smelly seaweed invasion
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tourists looking.
Tensions with China help U.S. see importance of North American trade (Jesus Seade)
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Tense U.S.-China.
Finally, the U.S. lifts tariffs on Canadian, Mexican metals
WASHINGTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) – The United States.
Puerto Vallarta is recognized as the world’s second most important beach destination for the LGBT community
Puerto Vallarta is internationally recognized as.
AMLO pardons defaulting CFE debtors in his homestate of Tabasco
Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) will.
U.S Treasury works with government of Mexico against perpetrators of corruption
On Friday May 17th, the United.
Domestic workers’ labor rights have been officially expanded in Mexico
Mexico’s Congress voted to grant the.
Smog from pollution continues to choke the skies over Mexico City
Mexico City authorities have announced a.
Mexico prepares tax deal with technology platforms
Mexico’s Finance Ministry plans to announce.
Thousands of fires are blazing across Mexico
Mexico is facing an extremely heavy.