Severe droughts explain the mysterious fall of the Maya

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Source: BBC

By Robin Wylie

This story is part of BBC Earth’s “Best of 2016” list, our greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list.

When the Spanish conquistadores sailed for Central America in 1517, their goal was to vanquish the resident Maya civilisation. But the colonists arrived to find that much of their work had been done for them.

By the time the Spanish made landfall, the Maya’s political and economic powerhouse has vanished

The Maya’s towering limestone cities – a classic feature of one of the ancient world’s most advanced societies – were already being reclaimed by the jungle.

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