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Tikal - Corn and Mayan Population

New analysis towards ancient Mayan population estimation

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Mayans were an advanced civilization that thrived for many centuries going back as far as 800 BC according to new studies . Their advancement spanned sciences, religions, writing system, calendar and monumental constructions. The estimated population of the Mayan civilization was approximately 22 million people.

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites that was the capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the Maya civilization which flourished between 200BC and 900 AD. Recently scientists analysed the soil around the pyramid of Tikal at Guatemala and found out that corn farms were grown mostly in the low wetlands and not along the hillsides.

Someone would ask how that is connected to the Mayan population. Well according to the researchers, studying the corn farms will reveal how many people approximately lived in the city. If the previous estimations are correct then up to 100,000 people would have lived in the city of Tikal which means that the requirements for feeding such a large number of people must have had a corresponding infrastructure.

Using satellite images the researchers mapped the cropping areas of the Mayas which resulted in finding the corn farms in a different place than what was once thought. This means that it is possible that the population estimations about the Mayans may be quite different from what is currently believed.

The Mayans were an extraordinary civilization with a big mystery: why did they disappear? Well maybe this research will shed more light even towards this direction.

By John Black

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