A video lecture titled ‘The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale’ by B.L Turner II, Arizona State University, on the archaeology and geography of climate change during the Maya Civilization. The lecture discusses the depopulation and decline of the ancient civilization, during the tenth and eleventh centuries, potentially due to climate change. It includes discussions on the “millennial long wave” of population growth and decline that indicates the flourishing of a civilization and its subsequent decline. Turner further discusses the dependence of the Maya people on the land and how climate change could have led to environmental degradation and agrarian collapse. Through the use of geographic and climate data, the lecture draws a timeline for the rise and collapse of the Maya civilization, changes in societal structures and functioning, and efforts to adapt to environmental and climate change.
Students will learn about how climate changes could have contributed to the decline of the Maya civilization. They will also learn about the relationship of people, land and the environment and the rise and fall of their societal and economic structures. Additionally, they will learn about concepts like “environmental determinism”.
Use this tool to help your students find answers to:
- Discuss whether climate change contributed to the decline of the Maya civilization.
- Discuss the term “environmental determinism”
- Discuss the archaeology and geography of climate change during the Maya civilization.
About the tool
|Tool Name||The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale|
|Discipline||Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences|
|Topic(s) in Discipline||Archaeology, History, Maya Civilization, Environmental Determinism, Agrarian, Land use Land cover,|
|Climate Topic||Climate and Society, Climate and the Anthroposphere, Disasters and Hazards|
|Type of tool||Video (50 mins)|
|Grade Level||Undergraduate, Graduate|
|Developed by||The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard Museums of Science & Culture|