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Mayan civilization’s sudden demise examined in talk to UCD retirees

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From page A5 | January 06, 2013 |

What caused the Mayan civilization to die? This question will be explored by UC Davis professors Bruce Winterhalder (anthropology) and Martha Marci (Native American studies and linguistics) at a presentation Thursday, Jan. 10, to the UCD Emeriti Association and the UCD Retirees’ Association.

The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — their talk begins at noon — in the AGR Hall at the UCD Alumni & Visitors Center. It is free and open to the public; no pre-registration is required. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunch; coffee, tea and cookies will be provided.

The Mayan civilization — which included several city-states in the region of what is now Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Honduras — was once an advanced society with highly developed agriculture, architecture, art and mathematical and astronomical systems.

The culture reached its pinnacle around 800 AD, but only 100 years later, all of the cities were mysteriously abandoned. What caused this sudden and dramatic decline? Their puzzling, beautiful hieroglyphs tell the story.

Winterhalder and Marci will present a talk that illustrates the impact of weather on the demise of this once-powerful society, and the key part that linguistics played in illuminating this mystery.

The talk is sponsored by the UCD Emeriti and Retirees’ associations, which represent UCD retirees and provide programs and services for their members. Parking requires a UC permit or a $7 daily permit. Cash or credit card are accepted at the permit dispenser at the South Entry Parking Structure.

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