The National Science Foundation (NSF) is giving nearly $78,000 of taxpayer funds to the Trustees of Boston University to study whether “climate change” was a primary cause for the decline of the Mayan civilization in Guatemala between 1000 BC and 900 AD.
According to the grant abstract, “the study will provide a detailed record of human occupation and environmental change” in the Maya Biosphere Reserve forest of northeastern Guatemala. This lowland area was where the Maya settled in pre-Columbian times. Researchers note that “climate change and environmental degradation have been proposed as the primary causes of extensive demographic decline” in the Maya population on two separate occasions.
Awarded on July 20, 2013, the $77,795 grant will conduct select excavations and a high-resolution analysis of fossils throughout the Holmul region. Pollen samples will be gathered to study agricultural activity, isotopes to study climatology, and soil samples to assess vegetation growth and water movement.