"Good-Bye-Un to the Mayans"
The Classic Maya region covers portions of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Researchers from Durham University, Pennsylvania State University and ETH-Zurich created a precise record of rainfall for the civilization based upon cave deposits. They compared the data to a "war index" of hostile events that were recorded on stone monuments. Researchers were able to chart and compare how increases in war and unrest were associated with periods of drought. Between AD 660 and 1100 Maya rulers utilized recorded events that included status rivalry, war and strategic alliances that increased during a drought. Periods of high rainfall increased the productivity of Maya agricultural systems, leading to a population boom while a drier climate led to political upheaval. A century-long drought from 1020 sealed the fate of the Classic Maya.