Dr. Alexandre Tokovinine takes photos to create a photogrammetry 3-D model of broken fragments of a Mayan monument (Courtesy of Estrada-Belli, Tulane University).
An anthropologist at The University of Alabama is part of a team of researchers who show brutal warfare in Mayan civilizations occurred earlier than previously thought.
Evidence of extreme warfare tactics in the Maya lowlands, during a time described as a peak in prosperity and artistic sophistication, is described in a paper published online this week in Nature Human Behaviour. This research suggests the Maya engaged in violent warfare that resulted in widespread destruction of a city much earlier than previously thought.
“Our findings challenge this notion as they show that a site could be wiped off the map and its population displaced for political reasons and without any connection to overpopulation or resource availability,” Tokovinine said. “Quite the opposite, our findings show willingness to eliminate valuable resources for political reasons.”