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07-Aug-2016 00:40

This was followed by a period of intense competition and warfare when dryer periods became more common.The final collapse was coincident with a century long drought.AAASMC: The period of peak monument building, as shown in Kennett's paper, coincided with periods of war-related activities. Yaeger: The monument-building represented the culmination of Mayan artistry and religion.Of course, these were also peak periods for population density, warfare, human sacrifices, decapitations etc.Kennett's new climate record puts the influence of climate on much firmer ground.

AAASMC: Does the new study by Kennett convince you that climate was a driver of the Mayan collapse?AAASMC: In the paper that you sent me by yourself and David Hodell, you mention that the use of the famous long calendar was lost.Were there other technologies, like writing, that disappeared along with the collapse?Yaeger: Yes, archaeology has become much more interdisciplinary and collaborative than it used to be. You need an epigrapher, an iconographer, a paleoclimatologist, a geologist, maybe a paleobotanist as well.Of course, you still need trowels, picks and shovels like you did 100 years ago, but now we also use x-ray fluorescence, neutron activation, strontium-90 for dating teeth.

AAASMC: Does the new study by Kennett convince you that climate was a driver of the Mayan collapse?

AAASMC: In the paper that you sent me by yourself and David Hodell, you mention that the use of the famous long calendar was lost.

Were there other technologies, like writing, that disappeared along with the collapse?

Yaeger: Yes, archaeology has become much more interdisciplinary and collaborative than it used to be. You need an epigrapher, an iconographer, a paleoclimatologist, a geologist, maybe a paleobotanist as well.

Of course, you still need trowels, picks and shovels like you did 100 years ago, but now we also use x-ray fluorescence, neutron activation, strontium-90 for dating teeth.

A low ratio of oxygen indicates a period of relative drought.