Ancient Apocalypse: The Maya Collapse

Ancient Apocalypse: The Maya Collapse

2001, History  -   27 Comments
Ratings: 7.92/10 from 51 users.

For over a thousand years, the Maya built a civilization in the jungle - creating pyramids, sculptures and paintings.

Then around 800 A.D., they practically vanished. Scientific sleuth Dick Gill has spent nearly twenty years proving his theory that a devastating drought wiped out the Maya. The program follows Gill on a journey of discovery: to an archaeological site in Belize, where there is evidence of a sudden abandonment.

With geologists as they take cores from a remote lake in Mexico's Yucatan that shows evidence of an exceptional drought at the time of the Maya collapse.

And visiting the slopes of the rumbling volcano of Popocatepetl, to search for evidence of an eruption that may have triggered a drought.

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27 Comments / User Reviews

  1. adfasdf

    I think you dumb Maya math is easy

  2. Joe Wong

    Devastating natural disasters, wars, diseases, etc. wiped out large portion, sometime more than half, of the population in China many times through its history, but Chinese did not collapse. So the theory of a devastating drought wiping out the Maya seems hard to believe.

  3. Mark Thompson

    Strictly speaking, in the realm of scientific discussion, Dick should use the word "hypothesis" to describe his supposition, before the discovery of compelling evidence, that drought was the factor responsible for the downfall of the Maya civilization, not "theory." Small point, but important nonetheless.

  4. petra sips

    climate change like a pole shift. 12.000 ago .. every 12.000 years this happens naturally . we are overdue already .. now.
    Also I always wonder if the Maya killed so many people because of the draught. So instead of let them suffer to death. You kill them so there is more food for the others and less suffering for the once killed

  5. Jamba

    the audio sux


    Really? Several million people in that area shown. What did they eat? Look around the world today. Agriculture. Look up what they ate and when. Forests grow back..take the forest,you change the climate. It wasn't chance then and we will pay the price soon on a bigger scale soon. Really,his ego just saddened me.

  7. L0LAW0NKA

    It's great to see how many users actually KNOW MORE than the guys who made the Doc. <3 the Educated Population.

  8. Chris Clyne

    Awesome doc. Vid quality is a little sketchy but audio is fine.

  9. Winston Smith

    either they died and fled or aliens took them. what a fascinating doc. Ive read a couple of Schiele's books on them.. war could have led them to self-destruct, to sacrifice more and the break down of out of food and moved away from city centers into the jungles. I like this rain theory. Dick is an inspiration.

  10. Phil K

    Grey - very catholic.
    Not being catholic, I was never put through that lunacy
    So I believe very much in the asteroid or el nino theory, and have no problems about touching myself (or mor often my wife) at night !

  11. Layla Phelps

    This makes me want to watch The Ruins.

  12. david powell

    this was fun to watch but factually absurd. 1) the maya didnt disappear. today in mexico & guatamala more than 5 million people speak mayan languages. 2)the abandonment of the southern maya polities was not sudden. the last rec orded dates on stone monuments are ponoma-790.yaxha 793.yaxchilan808.caracol859.tikal 879.tonina 909.chichen itza in yucatn-if you go to cancun its not fsr away was going until1200. when cortez landeed in yucatan in 1519 the mayans kicked his butt, the last independent mayan kingdom. the itza of tayasal were not conquered by the spanish untill 1697.

    1. Darryl Phillips

      you are bang on with your history friend ,thou enjoyable to watch of course they weren,t wiped out by drought anyone who watches documentary,s about history would know that the human race as suffered alot more hardship than drought ,people still suffer from drought today in third world countries alot of different raves travelled and settled travelled and settled all over the world so the mayan people have just mixed with the mexican,s as david already explained with facts and dates ,but i suppose this fella is entitled to non-factual free holiday with pay lol

    2. Anthony Lugo Morazan

      not funny. i watched the documentary and I am a person that came from mayan descent b.c my father is from Honduras. I am well aware of the ice cores, lake sediments, weather patterns and on top of that history. his theory has evidence. If u listen to the video there is a difference between a regular drought, and a severe drought. in africa there are severe droughts in the khalari desert and in the sahara but there wasnt a massacre of human nature in the kingdoms of West Africa and the civilizations in the South of Africa

    3. Anthony Lugo Morazan

      First of all, when Cortez landed in Central America in 1519, he was dealing with the Mexica people in other words the Aztecs, not the Mayas. When Francisco Pizarro came in 1532 he wipe out the Incas. The Mayas were always a mystery. My source of information comes from a book called Victors and Vanquished. the Aztecs civilization was eliminated in less then 3 years almost the same amount of time for the Incas as well. By 1697, Central America was already dominated by the Spainards. b.c Ponce de Leon came in the 1609.

  13. Andrew

    Has anyone ever read a book called Nightfall by Isaac Asimov?

    I've heard that Asimov and H.G. Wells extracted many of their ideas from the esoteric knowledge of the ancients, and that they possessed knowledge that our species is much older than the public is aware, and that it "resets" every few thousand years or so, as HG Wells and Isaac Asimov proposed.

  14. teh

    can anyone explain the joke to non-english speakers (or to stupid, for that matter)

  15. Arnold Vinette

    This was a great documentary and I was impressed with the amount of time (20 years) that Dick Gill spent researching the reason for the disappearance of the Maya Civilization in 800 A.D. How is it that guys can be so focused on this type of work?

    Now the question is what other civilizations vanished around 800 A.D.?

    Were native civilizations in North America likewise affected by this drought and deep freeze?

    Europe was affected with much colder temperatures. How were European civilizations affect during this time?

    It is not clear from the documentary, but how long did the drought last? This information should be available from the Yucatan lake sediments.

    Now what caused the drought of 800 A.D.?

    1) Was it the result of an asteroid strike throwing up volumes of dust and dirt into the atmosphere?

    2) The result of a large volcanic eruption somewhere else in the world?

    3) Did solar activity suddenly decrease as it does every 200 years or so around 800 A.D.? Goggle search the 200 Year Sun spot cycle is also a weather cycle.

    Evidence of such a cycle is given in historical records. There were droughts in this same area in 1795 and 1902-1904.

    4) Could the Atlantic Gulf Stream have stopped flowing for a short period of time during the period of 800 A.D. creating the cold and dry conditions in North America and Europe?

    These droughts occurred 100 years apart. Meaning that the Yucatan Peninsula is over due for another series of drought years in 2011. This also fits in with the 200 year sun spot solar cycle.

    Coincidentally Europe is starting to cool down and has had its coldest winter weather in 100 years. This has been in the news every day in December 17-24, 2010.

    Could this coincide with a new drought beginning in 2011 on the Yucatan Peninsula.

    If so this also coincides with the 200 year Sun Spot cycle that is also to start in 2011. the weather on the Earth will cool for the next 100 years and then slowly warm up again over 100 years. This 200 year weather pattern has been observed for the last 2000 to 3000 years.

    This story can easily continue with a part two to see what happened to civilizations in North America and Europe during this time period. What caused the drought and the northern climate to cool? It is very relevant to today because we are now at the 100 year point for solar activity to change.

    In 2011 could the climate cool, creating cold and drought at the northern latitudes while creating a drought in the Yucatan Peninsula.

    European freeze haunts airlines and Christmas shopping

    Severe winter weather causes headaches for travelers in Britain.

    Worst winter weather in 100 years for Britain / European!

    Heavy snow continues to fall over Europe. Christmas travelers marooned in airports.

    1. Layla Phelps

      Yeah Archeologists get obsessed.

  16. Shiba

    Damn it I was thinking of the Inkas.

    1. Anthony Lugo Morazan

      incas were eliminated by Pizarro 1532

  17. grey area

    just a little humor for yall
    @Bar , ahh a family guy fan ! lol .

  18. Bar

    @grey area

    Yes, Family Guy is funny.

  19. nomez

    grey that made me chuckle aloud...

  20. Courtney

    good one grey...

  21. grey area

    2012 IS COMING - REPENT !!!!! do you know why the dinosaurs died off or even the mayans? cuz you touch yourself at night.

  22. esmuziq

    i dont know what happend to this site
    or how many new people are helping but i'm lovin ir vlatko !!!