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Ancient Trees Shed Light on Pre-Hispanic Mexico

Date Posted: 
February 8, 2011
Publisher: 
American Geophysical Union

A new 1,238-year-long tree-ring chronology from an area northeast of Mexico City, developed by University of Arkansas at Fayetteville researchers, sheds light on the link between drought and the fall of pre-Hispanic civilizations in Mesoamerica.  The research, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, reveals four extended and severe dry periods, including a widespread drought from 1149-1167 coinciding with the fall of the Toltecs; this drought is also known to have impacted the U.S. Southwest.