The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale

Date: 

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 6:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Ancient Maya civilization—known for its cities, monumental architecture, ceramics, hieroglyphic writing, and advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy—suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya. Billie Turner will examine this evidence and the complex social and environmental conditions—including land use and landscape changes—that affected Maya societies.

Presented by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Harvard Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean Program at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage

This event will be live-streamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) Facebook page. A recording of this program will be available on the HMSC Lecture Videos page approximately three weeks after the lecture.

Click here to learn more.