New Research on the Collapse of Mayapan

September 13, 2022

Extended turmoil in the Maya city of Mayapan in the Yucatan was marked by population declines, political rivalries and civil conflict. That strife resulted in the complete institutional collapse and abandonment of the city  Between 1441 and 1461 CE. This occurred during a protracted drought. 

The drought may have stoked the civil conflict that begat violence, which in turn led to the institutional instabilities that precipitated Mayapan’s collapse.

“Researchers examined archaeological and historical data from Mayapan, including isotope records, radiocarbon data and DNA sequences from human remains, to document in particular an interval of unrest between 1400 and 1450 CE. They then used regional sources of climatic data and combined it with a newer, local record of drought from cave deposits beneath the city.”
The societal wekness was rooted in Maya reliance on rain-fed maize agriculture, lack of centralized long-term grain storage, minimal investments in irrigation and a sociopolitical system led by elite families with competing political interests.

Author: Shelly Leachman | Source: University of California – Santa Barbara [July 19, 2022

The report is here at archaeologynewsnetwork: