Recent translations of Mayan glyphs show that, just before their civilisation utterly collapsed, Maya kings told their subjects that starvation was a short term adjustment and to have faith in their policy of boosterism and cutting out the hearts of foreigners.
Professor Jimon Guillermos, of the University of Merida, explained that the findings gave some tantalizing clues at the causes of the Mayan collapse, seemingly blaming a wilfully naive population, a corrupt and inept ruling class, and some bizarre unnamed dogma.
He explained, “This recently discovered codex gives some detailed insight into the state of Mayan society before their entire world fell to ruin.
“The glyphs speak of a dissolute ruler that seems to have been a sort of ambitious jester who could spawn many heirs.
“What we know is that this leader was behind some sort of religious movement or singular policy that still makes no sense to us. This idea became the driving force behind all Mayan activity and could never be questioned. It seems the rulers neglected their duties of maintaining supply routes open. Basic necessities became scarce but we think the elite tried to claim this was a necessary ordeal to become a better society.
“What we can’t work out is why the average Mayan just went along with such an obvious lie? Surely the lack of food in the markets would have let them know things were going wrong? That they didn’t rise up and replace these inept despots with someone who had some basic grasp of agriculture and trade is a mystery.
“We can only conclude that they were, by and large, complete imbeciles.”