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The Cause of the Mayan Collapse

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The collapse of the Mayan civilization has long been a mystery, but in 2012 archaeological researchers at Arizona State University came up with a solution that makes sense. By studying the environmental conditions that existed shortly before the Mayan collapse, they were able to support a theory first proposed by historian Jared Diamond in 2005. He theorized that the cause was extensive deforestation in the lands occupied by the Maya, which led to a change in the land's absorption of solar radiation, which led in turn to a lack of rainfall. In the resulting drought, the agricultural foundation of the Mayan civilization failed.

Assuming the statement above is true, what was likely the direct result of the failure of Mayan agriculture, and why did it result in the total collapse of the civilization?

A

The loss of their primary food source led to increased trade with other cultures; the subsequent blending of cultures ultimately destroyed the Mayan civilization.

B

The drought and loss of food led to a rise in disease, which traveled throughout the Mayan cities and killed so many people that the civilization crumbled.

C

The Maya blamed their gods for the drought rather than themselves, and the subsequent revolt against the religious system led to the downfall of their civilization.

D

The loss of agriculture as a base for the civilization led to an increase in military action, which the Maya lost, leading to the destruction of their civilization by their enemies.

E

The majority of the Maya were agricultural workers who left the cities to avoid starvation, leading to the collapse of the entire civilization as the cities emptied.