To understand the ancient Mayan people who lived in the area that is today southern Mexico and Central America and the ecological difficulties they faced, one must first consider their environment, which we think of as "jungle" or "tropical rainforest." This view is inaccurate, and the reason proves to be important.Properly speaking, tropical rainforests grow in high-rainfall equatorial areas that remain wet or humid all year round. But the Maya homeland lies more than sixteen hundred kilometers from the equator, at latitudes 17 to 22 degrees north, in a habitat termed a "seasonal tropical forest." That is, while there does tend to be a rainy season from May to October, there is also a dry season from January through April. If one focuses on the wet months, one calls the Maya homeland a "seasonal tropical forest"; if one focuses on the dry months, one could instead describe it as a "seasonal desert."
Okay, this is quite tricky. But I'll give it a shot. I could do with a little more context, but I'll try to interpret with what I have.
I'm not sure about the validity of this context nor do I know much about the Mayans and the environment they lived in. But, I'll try to help you with what the author meant, irrespective of what he thinks about the actual topic.
Let's look into the following sentence:
"This view is inaccurate, and the reason proves to be important."
To answer this, I'll attempt to answer two questions first.
- What is the author referring to as "this view"?
- What are these "reasons" he's talking about?
To understand the ancient Mayan people who lived in the area that is today southern Mexico and Central America and the ecological difficulties they faced, one must first consider their environment, which we think of as "jungle" or "tropical rainforest.
Meaning : To know more about the Mayans who lived in that area and to understand what all difficulties they faced during their times, one should look into their living conditions and their environment. Now, the statement suggests that the environment comprised of dense forests and jungles. The author, here, suggests that this idea, or this view is totally incorrect. This can mean either of the two following things:
1) To know more about the Mayans, we don't have to consider the environment they were living in.
2) Their environment wasn't comprised of forests and jungles.
Now, this must be something that follows this paragraph from the context. According to what I understood, the author would've mentioned the reasons soon after this paragraph. If the author has provided "the reasons" behind his claim, this line could be interpreted as:
This view is inaccurate, and the reason proves to be important. And the reasons are......(the reasons should be given here).