What really happened to this vast culture? The Mayan civilization covered a vast territory in Central America. And it did for thousands of years. But environmental problems and political upheaval led to the decline of some areas. Why did the Mayan civilization collapse?
“It was the Mayan political system that collapsed. Not their society,” explained Lisa Lucero. She is a professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
According to publishes Livescience, the Maya had no central leader. They were made up of numerous states, each centered around a city. There was no general collapse for these political organizations. Cities rose and collapsed at different times.
The collapse of the Maya system is attributed to a combination of political and environmental problems. For example, drought. But apparently religion had a lot to do with it as well. Losing trust in authorities related to deities has consequences.
The problems piled up. Agriculture and maintenance of water storage systems were disrupted. Scarce resources were going into the war.
The last Mayan state was conquered by the Spanish in 1697. Then the Mayan people endured thousands of years of discrimination. Not only by the conquistadors, but also by subsequent governments that came after the end of colonial rule.
“The Maya suffered terribly. Periodically they have rebelled, without success. And they still lack adequate political representation in the countries where they live. When people think about why the Mayan civilization collapsed, they often use the wrong clichés. Their culture was transformed, the Maya by no means disappeared. We need to pay attention to the people of Mayan descent in Mesoamerica. So concluded Guy Middleton, a member of the School of History at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.
The Maya are thought to be a great extinct culture. But the truth is that it is simply still a great culture.