GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 198, PP. 27-33, 2012
Environment and Agency in the Ancient Maya Collapse
Department of Anthropology, State University of New York at Geneseo, Geneseo, New York, USA
For nearly a century, hypotheses about the causes of the Terminal Classic lowland Maya collapse of the ninth century A.D.
have reflected contemporary concerns. Recently, a number of environmental scientists and archaeologists have evoked climate
change and drought to explain the Maya collapse and a number of other periods of decline or abandonment in Maya history. In
this paper, I suggest that many of the arguments about drought and collapse simplify or misrepresent the archaeological data.
Closer collaboration between physical scientists and archaeologists is needed to better align the paleoclimate data with current
Citation: Aimers, J. J. (2012), Environment and agency in the ancient Maya collapse, in Climates, Landscapes, and Civilizations, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 198, edited by