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18 November 2016

Older Mayan pyramid detected within Chichén Itzá

Scientists in Mexico have found evidence for a third and earlier—more purely Mayan—pyramid inside of the famous and iconic Pyramid of El Castillo at Chichén Itzá, in Yucatán. Using a non-destructive technique that employed hundred of electrodes deployed on the surface of the pyramid, the researchers also confirmed previous discoveries of a second pyramid, as well as their own 2014 discovery of a partially water-filled sinkhole beneath the pyramid.

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30 August 2016

The demise of the Maya civilization: water shortage can destroy cultures

Something really drastic must have happened to the ancient Maya at the end of the Classic Period in the 9th Century. Within a short period of time, this advanced civilization in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing – the population dwindling rapidly and monumental stone structures, like the ones built at Yucatán, were no longer being constructed. The reason for this demise remains the subject of debate even today. Now, researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) may have found the explanation: the irrigation technology that served the Mayans well during periods of drought may have actually made their society more vulnerable to major catastrophes.

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