2t The Daly N r Friday. Augut 16. 1996
Environmental abuse hastened Mayan downfall
This last article on Honduras of Honduras, El Slv.dor. all of the grcultual system. which l
will focus on Ihe n Zins of CopMn C Ouate al o. Belize, and southern m caed n o ptialoge rate of ci..
and what they ommnnlae o boht o O oae. Mexio. Tod y, these countries romeno t degdcldton. Bec0u.e of
Ihe downfall of the 0Myan civitia.- DaviS togoth have .boot 40 million poo- the tuba slproad loto tho fetlle val-
ion. W pe who are direct descendant of loy, the human population was
Wbhenl I 0s Raw the u 0ofw .0 te ancient Myan pope cd spea forced to spoad to ar as unsttabl
Mayan Indiah In Copan, a tw n oof he28 for lement.h1y Indiano ho
ihe Northwest of Honduras, my What I Icrd whU I o Hon- Thu, be Mayan Indias b
mind taveled back la time. I knew d1as. the word "buccaneer" 1s to deforest more ae. wh i were
tht I was walking on holy ground ltrs. Prom them, epiraphsts Mayan word which means meat. already sparsely covered by tes
of8 g l people, have succeeded in deciphering interestingly so. one of our hotels because of the demand for wood
Before the fim while man tad- ccoun0oi of royal birth., corona- o0 S. Croix namd Buao o ee. aod othe produto1 from tIb fores
Od in Central America, he Maya to, bdaeusand ooquc s Prom. A.D. 250 to 900 wa on- A rcbaologistswok also todicat
people governed themselves for When I saw the pyrid of the sidered the goldenn a'" of the masv soil eaon i the foothill
hundrdoof yam T e Moyu ero Mayan I1dians l1 Hond.ru, my Mayas cul.ur Duing this tlo it ad 0mo0md.n .
no Only 8good oulptors .ad c- ond edleed 0o 0e0 pyramids of was beltevd lhat h Mayas hid It i believed that climatic
tlecu they were also extaor ry Egypt. In ft, there wer A 60 to70 principal c s; each kig changes took place wilb intense
astronomer and mathematician, n (the 1 Ca.ribbean .glo sad Coral goeorned an area. Scholars believe droughts ad disastrous floods dur-
dvoplg 10 ooepl of0dbezeoro and Sooth Aomrica before whito hato tb citihsw. r u. idt ing r.y ue. ason, sd by the lack
bfo even tbe eus .od men of th Xplordc theseland e.t, fon a l0 r political elniles o ma o egeatio on th. lad.
old world. In addition, they malm- Pyramids in Copan. Ionduras called "eg ioa sta s. Despite .e dmise of ther civi-
olind an iremclad social organits- and other parts of Cen rl and South Copn. Honduras, there we lization, the Mayans left in their
ion. America were Influenced by some 16mler before the dyoasy footprint and in tholg 0 asee
This systm of the Maya.. ldb- Aficans of Copan ollaped. No expet has tha now gIv.s of ils nii to Its
ans revolved around religion and Ivan V. Serlma's book, "They been able to discover why the city people. Mayan descendsaas otn-
royalty. For example, Copae was a camobefore Columbus," metiooed of Copan was abandoned almost ue to strengthen their pat while
ceremonial center r around which mny. Indians of Cntral and Soth four centuries after it was built. build theiropre ad future.
kings and priests orcteld their Ame oday journey every However, arcaeological Investia- Oolase Doa, who holds mas-
dwellitgs year to ee the "Back gods in h lion in Copen indicates a demo- er of sci degree in range mo n.
The h oryotb May popl NtniMu nm of Mexco. gphi e rowbth that ws upc a and or eolog I o
ypincs, tempd tlestombs, and America ingludm th northwest dp his brouph a Vl ey history.s o SI C o. Olo. c t nod
glyphico. tmolples, lombb, and Anmica Inlude 1be nOorwst Up is brought a geot.bnds on, writer.