Theories About The Disappearance Of The Mayans Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Drama - World Type: Essay Paper: #54879585 Related Topics: Theories, Theory, Nasa, Civilization
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Mayan civilization mainly built urban centers with the purpose to extend their spirituality. Most of these centers were perceived as means of experiencing a better connection to their gods and as thus being a tool for worship. This makes it difficult for many to understand how the Mayans disappeared, considering that most communities were actually rural and that urban areas were not as populated as villages. However, part of the answer lies with conquerors coming into Mayan cities and disrupting balance there. As a consequence, many communities could not preserve their cultural values as religious concepts had been removed from their lives. These respective groups came to be assimilated while their traditions were forgotten.

The main reason for the disappearance of the Mayan civilization is a cultural clash -- probably one of the most significant in all of history. The European conquerors brought with them a series of concepts that were incompatible with Mayans at the time. Ranging from their materialistic type of thinking to the viruses they had, Europeans introduced...


"While its nested and replicative urban settlement system contributed to the political and ideological linkages in Maya society, this dispersed urban settlement was even more critical for the ancient Maya ecological adaptation." (Demarest 117) The fact that Europeans arrived and focused on taking over cities seriously destabilized the Mayans, as they had lost their ability to organize as a community and ended up attempting to preserve their cultural values on their own.

Even with the fact that the Europeans contributed to the fall of the Mayan civilization, there are a series of theories concerning this event. One of the most intriguing involves the Mayans being obsessed with building temples and spending a significant amount of resources in the process. This lead to a series of problems, as deforestation became very common as a result of people needing wood to maintain the numerous ovens built to create bricks. It would be safe to say that the Mayans created a vicious circle as they built more and more temples in order to satisfy the gods and to thus have better living conditions. Temples required cutting trees and cutting trees is likely to have played a…

Sources Used in Documents:


Demarest, A. "Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization." (Cambridge University Press, 9 Dec 2004)

"The Fall of the Maya: 'They Did it to Themselves'," Retrieved July 23, 2015, from

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