Corn and the Maya Collapse

August 29, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mānoa Campus, St. John 11

This seminar by Dr. James Brewbaker (Dr. B) explores the connection between food and civilization. Civilizations rise and fall on their stomachs. Corn, rice, or wheat provided at least half of the caloric energy of all major prehistoric civilizations. The Mayans had only corn, but they created a major civilization with two million people in tropical rainforests. The civilization "collapsed," i.e., was abandoned in the 800s, but why? Various researchers have developed numerous theories, but none suggest a problem with corn. In this seminar, Dr. B will explore the possibility of a corn virus being the culprit of the Mayan's demise. He will review recent evidence supporting this theory, and extend the idea to the Anazasi, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, and other Meso-American civilizations.

Event Sponsor
Tropical Plant ans Soil Sciences - CTAHR, Mānoa Campus

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