Wednesday, February 24, 2010 • 7:30 PM • James A. Little Theater, New Mexico School for the Deaf

Jeremy Sabloff President, Santa Fe Institute

The Decline of Classic Maya Civilization: A Systems Perspective

The decline and abandonment of many key cities in the Southern Maya Lowlands around A.D. 800 has long attracted scholarly and public attention. While archaeologists now understand – contrary to previous thought – that Maya civilization did not collapse at this time, as a number of Maya cities continued to thrive up until the 16th century Spanish Conquest, the causes of the relatively rapid demise of cities such as Tikal, Palenque, and Copan remain of great interest. New archaeological, epigraphic, and environmental information have enabled archaeologists to form better models that provide more systemic perspectives on this decline than ever before. Sabloff examines the new data and models and discusses their potential relevance to problems facing the world today.