NASA-funded study finds: Dozens of advanced ancient civilizations collapsed before us


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Is it possible that just like many other advanced civilizations in the past, ours too is heading towards an impending collapse? Is the collapse of society imminent? These are some of the questions a study from NASA aims at answering. The study, partly sponsored by the Goddard Space Flight Center suggests that civilizations as we know it could come to an abrupt end in the coming decades due to a number of factors.

If we look back in history, 3000 – 5000 years, we will find a historical record that clearly shows us how advanced and complex civilizations were just as susceptible to collapse as we are today. This ongoing pattern has led researchers to question the future existence of society and civilization as we know.

If we were to look back further back in time, over 10,000 years, we would encounter evidence of advanced civilizations that possibly predate the Pre-Inca, Olmec, and Ancient Egyptian civilization, not to mention other advanced ancient civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia.

It is difficult to overlook the repeating patterns identified by scholars in most of these civilizations and the NASA funded study is clear evidence of the path ancient civilizations on Earth have taken for thousands of years. This is considered by many people as a sign that clearly states that ancient civilizations have reset a number of times.

These factors have kept on repeating themselves and have been the culprit for ancient civilizations before us.  In the report, applied mathematician Safa Motesharri and his “Human and Nature Dynamical” model claims that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.”

“The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”

The study came to the conclusion that there are two key social features that contributed to the collapse of every single advanced civilization from the past: “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity”; and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” These social phenomena have played “a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,” in all such cases over “the last five thousand years.”

Even though our civilizations is at a very advanced technological stage, this does not necessarily mean that we are saved from imminent chaos. In the study, we find that “Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use.”

One of the best examples of advanced ancient civilizations disappearing can be found in Mesoamerica.

If we take a look at the ancient Mayas who were an extremely advanced ancient civilization we find that several factors played a crucial role for this once great empire to crumble eventually. While most researchers would agree that Deforestation, Famine, and Drought where some of the key components in the failure of the ancient Maya, we find a similar pattern in other civilizations, not only in the Americas but around the globe.

Motesharrei and his colleagues conclude that under conditions “closely reflecting the reality of the world today… we find that collapse is difficult to avoid.” In the first of these scenarios, civilization:

“…. appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of Nature.”

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21 Comments

    1. There’s plenty of Roman concrete remaining, its far superior to the concrete used today.

    2. Nope. Actually when you think about it, you’ll always notice that ancient civilizations around the world were dominated or collapsed. We are far from be dominated (ok, maybe Muslins can do that in the future, as Europe opens its borders as a prostitute opens you know what), but not from having a natural disaster.

  1. Advanced Civilizations? OK – if they were so ‘advanced’ why are they gone? I thought ‘advanced’ meant superior to the previous one. How superior or advanced does it have to be in order to last longer than a few hundred or thousand years? Sounds more like feeble attempts to build something and failing…succeeding at failing…hmmm

      1. Exactly – that’s what I say. It makes no sense at all. History calls them ‘advanced civilizations’. BUT – they advance to a point in time when they collapse and disintegrate!! So – is that how they define the word ‘advanced’? Please define the meaning of the phrase ‘advanced civilizations’. If these ancients were so “advanced” where are they now? If my goal is to succeed, and I fail to succeed, have I succeed at failing?

    1. How do you know their time span of lasting . Do you know that Atlantis and pre-dynastic Egypt are called to thrive more than 20000 years at least in so called ‘Myths’. By the way , do you have all the accurate knowledge of Universe.

      1. First – there is no time as humans calculate. Only NOW and NOW is NOW. I talk about ADVANCED civilizations – what does ADVANCED mean? ADVANCED from what indefinable source? Egypt was not ADVANCED in our modern sense of the word. Egyptians were from a Mars settlement on earth. Al Marsa – anchorage.

  2. Paul D – The average lifespan of an Empire (according to recorded history) is 200 years!

  3. As sad as it is and even with all of the wonderful experiences, I wouldn’t want to repeat it for anything. Now, what bus do I catch to take me out of here?

  4. So, the conclusion amounts to climate change and the disappearing middle class.

    What about when societies attain the point in their development where living becomes more about comfort than survival? The creation of elaborate systems intended to equalize everyone and creating dependence on centralized entities thus creating a single point of failure and collapse everything else that was dependent on it.

    1. you are completely logical and you are a great answer to Paul D and englishsunset, thanks !!

  5. Acccording to the way scientists rate societies (theoretical) our civilization has not even achieved Planetary Society status yet, meaning capable of harnesssing the sum energy produced by our planet. In order to advance beyond that we must learn how to harness the energy of our sun, our solar system, our galaxy and ultimately the universe. We are microbes on the evolutionary scale compared to civilizations that have learned to survuve beyond the life of our star and move to another. Civilization is not rated by meager groups of people barely scraping the surface of our planet like chickens scratch for food- we got so much more to learn before we become “advanced”.

  6. Well the USA did not collapse the last time the elites had all the power, let hope we reign them in again… or we could vote in Trump.

  7. Cataclysmic events destroyed earlier civilizations more often than social stratification did
    .

  8. well for ancient civilizations, they grow wich brings more people and eventualy spend local resources and cant bring them from somewhere else, wich in turn leads to a wider gap between rich and poor and internal conflict, all this have in turn created new states that have evolved until the modern ones, based wich are based on this social interactions.

    resources and this situation is no longer a problem , but the new problem is more difficylt to deal with.

    Societies were build on the good for the collective as they grew the individual and fairness this was to maintain harmony within larger groups, the other factor is the power structures, army, workforce and later on merchants and goverment, this last four factors are the ones that maintain certain balance betweent powers and individual fairness long before it was aknowledge by modern states, this factors internal conflict will also make any unbalanced situation reversible, specialy so when confronted with external powers, they are universal.

    This four factors will dissapear, with new technologies and thus the balance they provided, they not only provided balance between each other but also internally wich willl also disappear, to this the last factor is the many and few, weapons of mass destruction will allow the few to destory large populations without small numbers of people, thus has also been a deterrent in the past and had been countered by disarming conquered populations, and no longer holds true, finaly the many factor is that regardless of what it is true and what will be the best option the majority will decide reality, this has also destroyed civilizations as they try and hold to irrelevant beliefs that are no longer capable to adapt to the challenge.

    All this social interactions seem to be universal, and so it will hold true for alien civilizations, and now earth is faced with this dilemma that will lead to an irreversible path on one way, and on the other lead to a path that will have exponentialy more chances to fall into the first one.

  9. Why doesn’t NASA study why we aren’t back on the Moon yet? The Chinese or Russians will be up there before we go back. And when they go up; there- expect missiles to aimed at everyone on the planet.

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