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Ancient Maya civilization—known for its cities, monumental architecture, ceramics, hieroglyphic writing, and advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy—suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya. Billie Turner will examine this evidence and the complex social and environmental conditions—including land use and landscape changes—that affected Maya societies.Presented by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Harvard Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean Program at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University.