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When a Civilization Falls: Exploring the Decline of the Maya
Educator Overview

ABC-CLIO Database: World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras
Time Period: The Americas, 3000 BCE-1500 CE
Topic: Maya Civilization
Skill: Analyze
Process: Examine Cause and Effect

Inquiry Question: What caused the collapse of Maya civilization?

Objectives: Students will analyze the factors that may have contributed to the collapse of Maya civilization and explain which causes were the most significant.

What students will discover in the sources: The reference entry on the Maya Empire provides an overview of Maya civilization, including the possible causes of its collapse. The video "Collapse of the Maya" presents a look at major theories for the collapse, focusing on environmental circumstances. The photo of ruins at the Maya city of Tikal shows an example of the monumental architecture remaining at abandoned Maya sites, highlighting the mysterious nature of the collapse. In the entry "The Many Factors behind the Maya Collapse," an archaeologist who specializes in Maya culture discusses the multiple causes he believes are responsible for the end of classic Maya civilization. The photo "Maya Fresco at Bonampak Depicting a Battle Scene" shows a Maya portrayal of the kind of warfare between Maya city-states that may have contributed to the weakening of Maya society. Together, these sources will help students understand why the factors behind the collapse of Maya civilization continue to be a matter of research and debate.
MLA Citation

"Investigate: When a Civilization Falls: Exploring the Decline of the Maya." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2020, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/InvestigateOverview/2229186?tab=1. Accessed 21 Jan. 2020.