According to researchers, this drought led to civil conflict, which in turn was followed by political collapse.
Not only does the new study describe the history of the ancient people, but it is also a warning: climate change can have a negative impact on even prosperous civilizations.
"A large number of data sources indicate that the civil conflict increased significantly at the same time that the drought occurred — between 1400 and 1450 A.E. — researchers say that it was due to the drought that Mayapan was abandoned.
According to the study, water shortages may have affected agricultural practices and trade routes, putting pressure on the population of Mayapan, as food was becoming scarce.
The long drought increased tensions between rival groups, yet the Mayan political and economic structures persisted until the early 16th century C.E.