Talk:Classic Maya collapse

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Time Period[edit]

The article starts out by saying the collapse was 8th Century A.D. to 9th Century A.D., but later on it says 800 AD - 900 AD. So is it 9th - 10th century, or 700 AD to 800 AD? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:53, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


Per some previous discussions elsewhere, there may well be a better title for this article- any suggestions?--cjllw ʘ TALK 07:13, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

How about Classic Maya collapse? More accurate without being too wordy. --Homunq 21:46, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I'm gonna be bold and just move it. Feel free to move it back to Maya collapse if you have any objections. --Homunq 21:49, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the name can remain "as is." Galaxy413, 9-9-07 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Galaxy413 (talkcontribs) 03:17, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


This article seems to heavily favor the drought theory of collapse. I don't know enough to say if that is because it has become the favored theory scientifically or if it is because of bias on the part of wikipedia editors. It struck me, though, that it might be the latter as until reading this article it had been my understanding that deforestation caused by poor management of resources was the favored theory. Jorbettis 16:56, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Needs rework, I suppose. A lot of info, that's good. A lot of statements i disagree with... that's a bad sign:) -- 05:12, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

highest and best?[edit]

The highest and best art and architecture come from the Classic Maya period — the survivors in later eras did not attain the same quality of civilization or make much further progress. that is helluva loaded statement to make. i'd love to know how one determines what is the 'highest and best art' or the 'quality of civilization'. it didn't seem like this was a direct opinion of any of the cited sources, tho i don't have the books so i can't say for certain. i would just take it out, but i am entirely ignorant of the topic, so for now i will just register my concern and leave it to the experts. --dan 05:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Folkloric theory?[edit]

What does present day Mayan folklore tell about what happened? Are such views accounted for? I take for granted that Wikipedian policy are regarded as respectfully intercultural by its users. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xact (talkcontribs) 02:25, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, wikipedia policy is 'respectfully intercultural' as you put it, and there's no intentional favouring of one culture's POV over another's (Systemic bias is another matter, though there's certainly a consciousness of it and good intentions to redress). Note the key policy of WP:NPOV strives for a neutral and proportionately balanced treatment. And certainly, folkloric tradition may be written about and mentioned, where it's germaine to the topic and is described as a tradition, not a 'truth'. However, like any other informational source there's a requirement that it be verifiable, which means it needs to have been notably written down and written about. As for that, I really don't think that modern Maya folklore is in a position to shed any light on the decline (approx. a thousand years ago) of Classic-period urban and ceremonial centres, and AFAIK there is no documented folkloric tradition that claims to hark back to this distant period. A great many of the centres mentioned in this text were completely abandoned and the region depopulated, and a number became truly 'lost cities', even unto the Maya themselves. What little we do have by way of documented tradition or oral history concerns either the mythic past, or relates events no earlier than the Late Postclassic and conquest. These traditions are also documented in areas like the Yucatan and the Guatemalan highlands, well away from the central lowlands. It really is only via archaeology and epigraphy that a collapse in this period has been identified, and not thru any handed-down oral account. --cjllw ʘ TALK 13:46, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Peasant revolt?[edit]

The Windsor star did an article that reported that a few scientists and National Geographic explorers found evidence that peasant revolt lead to the collapse of the Mayan Empire. The article stated that the emperor and nobility hunted leopards in the jungle (which were thought of as status symbols) and recieved large amounts of goods in the form of taxes. As the number of leopards decreased, they tried to hunt more of them to keep the public's respect, but eventually, the people just had enough and left the cities en masse. RingtailedFoxTalkContribs 03:41, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Maya capability for largescale trade[edit]

The thought that the Maya were unable to transport large quantities of trade items is in error. Obviously, the obsidian trade from Preclassic times was enormous, from the Highlands throughout the Peten. Obviously, trade in cacao and other agricultural products, was large scale, and the great cacao growing zone was in southern Guatemala. Ethnohistory reports, at the time of Columbus, 20-foot long canoes rowed by Maya, transporting large quantities of goods. Long trains of Maya, with goods on their backs, was evidently the most common method of conveyance; this is still how Maya peasants in Guatemala and Chiapas carry goods, and the amount an individual can carry, I can confirm, is extraordinary. Another point: note 42 about Prescott's descriptions of Cortes and Tenochtitlan is not scholarly; the reference should be to Bernal Diaz' great first-hand account. Also, oddly lacking in this article is a reference to Robert Sharer's The Ancient Maya, the most exhaustive summary on the Maya Jonathan K1938 (talk) 01:19, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Drought and Europe[edit]

The article states "Northern Europe suffered extremely low temperatures around the same time as the Maya droughts. The same connection between drought in the Maya areas and extreme cold in northern Europe." The Maya collapse happened at around 800-1000AD; presumably the drought was coterminous.
But this is the period referred to as the Medieval Warm Period in Europe. (950 to 1100 AD, according to UCAR: So perhaps that aspect of the line of argument needs more detail. Twang (talk) 21:00, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Intro length[edit]

Does anyone else feel the intro is too long? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Probably some of it ought to be shifted into some subsection, and the whole rewritten to more of a summary style.--cjllw ʘ TALK 07:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Section on what, exactly, was and was not lost[edit]

Without denying the impressive scale of a monumental civilization that, over a wide area, abandoned cities and significant parts of a way of life, we should be clear about the limits of this collapse:

- The northern coastal cities continued to thrive, as did the southern highlands.

- Though stone inscriptions ceased, writing was by no means lost; many codices, presumably written after the collapse (nobody illiterate has a 600-year-old library), were burned by the Spanish.

- Note also the sampling bias because modern cities are often built over postclassic settlements (like Flores), leaving the classic ones (like Tikal) more intact.

- The Itza', in the heart of the "collapsed" area, went on to resist conquest for over 150 years. I doubt that they would have seen themselves as "collapsed".

Homunq (talk) 21:52, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Why not just ask them?[edit]

The Maya still exist, and surely they have at least oral records of their own history. So why not just ask them what caused the "collapse"? (talk) 21:01, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

BC/AD and BCE/CE[edit]

WP:MOSNUM states, "Use either the BC–AD or the BCE–CE notation, but not both in the same article," and "Do not change from one style to another unless there is substantial reason for the change, and consensus for the change with other editors." However, around this time last year user Graysie (talk · contribs) began to change the notation without first reaching consensus. See edits:

This particular editor seemed to have only one agenda in mind, and continued the disruptive editing of other articles. He has since been banned indefinitely. Because the BC/AD notation has been used in this article since its beginning, and because there is no compelling reason for the notation change, I've reverted Graysie's edits. --Life is like a box of chocolates (talk) 06:15, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Peasant revolt, revolution, or social turmoil section - missing part?[edit]

There seems to be a paragraph or so missing here, talking about Thompson's viewpoint, etc. Allens (talk) 21:34, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Epidemic disease[edit]

"Such ideas as this could explain the role of disease as a minor reason for the Classic Maya Collapse" - why only a minor reason? Perhaps "as at least a minor reason" instead? Allens (talk) 21:38, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Seeing no objection, I've changed it (to "as at least a possible partial reason", IIRC). Allens (talk) 08:08, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Possible role of climate[edit]

~~ Xb2u7Zjzc32 (talk) 14:07, 12 March 2015 (UTC)