Ancient Tomb Could Explain Maya Collapse
Artifacts found in the newly discovered ancient Mexican tomb offer clues to the civilization's demise.
Thu Jan 28, 2010 06:07 AM ET | content provided by Manuel De La Cruz Associated Press
- Typical Mayan temples are built as pyramids with a series of steps, such as this one in Palenque, Mexico.
- Peter Adams/Getty Images
An 1,100-year-old tomb dated to the time of the Mayas has been found in Mexico.
Artifacts found in the tomb are from the Toltec culture, not Maya.
Skeptics say the Mayas covered a wide area and researchers should use caution about drawing conclusions from one site.
Mexican archaeologists have found an 1,100-year-old tomb from the twilight of the Maya civilization that they hope may shed light on what happened to the once-glorious culture.
Archaeologist Juan Yadeun said the tomb, and ceramics from another culture found in it, may reveal who occupied the Maya site of Tonina in southern Chiapas state after the culture's Classic period began fading.
Many experts have pointed to internal warfare between Mayan city states, or environmental degradation, as possible causes of the Maya's downfall starting around A.D. 820.
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