Many ancient cultures worshiped volcanoes and many believed them to be actual living creatures. Volcanoes have played a big part in human history and one of those places where this was so was in the ancient lands of the Maya. But volcanoes have played another role in human history as well and that role is than of being a cause and in some cases a major cause for large scale cultural changes
Back in February of 2017 a research team released their findings and their study suggested that ancient ash links the El Chichon eruption to a time of significant cultural upheaval in the land of the Maya!
The El Chichon eruption was a major eruption occurring in AD 540 and what is odd is that prior to this El Chichon was a small and insignificant volcano. However, after its eruption it plunged Mayan civilization into a period of darkness and chaos. During this time period the Maya were one of the most sophisticated cultures on Earth but after this eruption the Maya were plunged into a century long “dark age.” All that was sophisticated and remarkable in Mayan civilization was lost.
The Maya had an advanced civilization for the time and most researchers believe they thrived between AD 250-900. They had developed a writing system, precise calendars, mathematics and beautiful cities, pyramids, and temples made of cut stone many of which still stand today. Researching these sites archaeologists began to notice something odd about the Maya in 1938. That’s when an archaeologist noticed that there was a strange gap in the dated Maya monuments! That is, it appeared that for more than 100 years the Maya stopped building new buildings and pyramids and some even abandoned areas they’d long-lived in while others grew more warlike for no apparent reason. Archaeologists were at a loss to explain this although, as always, they had many hypotheses. Earthquakes were suspected or hurricanes while others thought trade routes collapsed. Whatever happened one thing was for sure and that is Mayan society during this gap period showed a degeneration of Mayan society and culture. Continue Reading