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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:18 pm 
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BBC World News:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42916261

Quote:
Sprawling Mayan network discovered under Guatemala jungle

...

Results from the research using Lidar technology, which is short for "light detection and ranging", suggest that Central America supported an advanced civilisation more akin to sophisticated cultures like ancient Greece or China.

"Everything is turned on its head," Ithaca College archaeologist Thomas Garrison told the BBC.

He believes the scale and population density has been "grossly underestimated and could in fact be three or four times greater than previously thought".

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:04 pm 
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Yeah, now the one point I like to make is the Mayan "state/imperial civilization" may have collapsed, in that after the Classic and Post-Classic Maya era they stopped building the sprawling pyramids, cities, and monuments.

Mayan civilization per se never ended. By that, I mean, Dennis & Barbara Tedlock worked with Mayan priests/daykeepers in the 20th century who were still actively using the Mayan calendar (hint: they were not as freaked out about 2012 as Westerners were, as they knew the Long Count is not their longest system of timekeeping ... but I digress). Also, many of them could still read the Mayan glyphic system of writing, in fact, it was through working with them that archaeologists figured out the written Mayan language is in fact more logographic/syllabic than hieroglyphic (like ancient Egyptian) and a transcription of the spoken Mayan they are still using today.

They are still using some cultural ceremonies and rituals that go back to the Classic era. The Maya never "vanished". They just stopped building massive complexes.

http://www.history.com/news/what-caused ... -new-clues

Scientists have long wondered what exactly happened in the ninth century A.D., when the flourishing Maya civilization in Mesoamerica fell into what would be a permanent decline, its once-great cities reclaimed by jungle. More recent research revealed the Maya also experienced an earlier collapse, in the second century, about which scientists know even less. In a new study, based on the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, a team of researchers argues that both collapses were preceded by similar patterns, as waves of social instability, warfare and political crises swept over the civilization and caused it to deteriorate.

[snip][end]

Ecological causes (deforestation, causing more localized climate change) were central, but I would also note that warning about "social instability, warfare, and political crises".

Seems to me other human empires (the Romans, for example) kind of had the same problem.

Yeah, dunno, could relate to current events, too. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:37 pm 
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One of my favorite authors, Douglas Preston, wrote a book about his adventure when he accompanied an archeological expedition to find a rumored "lost" Mayan city in the Yucatan Peninsula. The group used LIDAR radar to help locate the city, about the size of New York's Central Park, and hacked their way through the jungle, with its many dangers, to find it. This isn't a work of fiction because this is an account of their adventure as well as the health effects they later suffered. It's a good read for those interested in factual archeological stories. The name of the book is The Lost City of the Monkey Gods.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:58 pm 
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I've heard of that book. One of the reasons I have no desire to go down there is that the health hazards for non-natives are real and can screw you up for a long time.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:03 pm 
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I've been to the Yucatan. I've been in Mayan ruins. First warning: bring mosquito repellent. You will regret it if you don't.

If you've never seen a mosquito wall, you will.

I thought they were bad in Florida. I was wrong. There is worse.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:53 pm 
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I've been to the Yucatan. I've been in Mayan ruins. First warning: bring mosquito repellent. You will regret it if you don't.

If you've never seen a mosquito wall, you will.

I thought they were bad in Florida. I was wrong. There is worse.

The mosquitoes are the reason I wouldn't want to go down. If I did go down there, I'd have to bring a 55-gallon drum of DEET and eat tons of garlic just to make it through the day.

Also, I don't care for snakes and there are deadly snakes in the jungle.

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