Archaeologists toiling under the tropical Mexican sun have dug up unprecedented evidence of what appears to have been a crucial meeting of Mayan high priests during the final days of the great Central American civilisation. The relics suggest that after decades of gradual decline of the empire, the ancient leaders gathered on a palm-lined beach on the Yucatan coast near present day Cancún to discuss what could be done to save their society in the face of collapsing ecosystems. But as the palm wine flowed many disagreements surfaced, with the head of each clan unwilling to be the first to take action to reduce his people’s ravenous depletion of the great nation’s once-abundant natural riches. Some blamed everyone but themselves as the cause of the problem, others claimed that there was not even a problem to be solved. Evidence suggests that the local coastal tribe hosting the conference made sure that each leader’s material needs were fully provided for, a practice known in Mayan dialect as “poshti resorto allainclusivo” so that during the great conference the priests could consume to their heart’s desire without feeling the consequences of their actions. Many Mayan people had also travelled to the meeting to express their deep concern in the hope of imploring their leaders to take drastic action, but unearthed remains suggest that these mere mortals were corralled at some distance from the chiefs’ meeting and were unable to effectively pass their message to them. Realising that they had travelled many miles and in great numbers to be left to talk amongst themselves, it seems these Mayan activists consoled themselves by further indulging in the last of the once abundant produce of the Mayan lands, enjoying the beach and partying hard in the firm belief that there would be no tomorrow.
The artefacts are not conclusive over how the meeting may have ended, but the subsequent catastrophic demise of the Mayans suggests that those once powerful high priests never could bring themselves to accept that the world they lived in was no longer the land of cheap abundance that their forefathers enjoyed. It seems that even the welcoming beach atmosphere could not overcome each clan’s self-interest and that the action required to prevent over-depletion of the Mayan empire’s resources was never forthcoming. And all that remains of their inaction are some once magnificent buildings poking out of the jungle.