In some locations, the collapse was more catastrophic, marked by a ruinous series of wars or a cataclysmic battle see chapters 8, 9, and In many places, climate, or more broadly, the conjuncture of ecology and human action, was at least one major stressor for the complex polities of the Maya world, but in no case was it the only one, and it did not always lead to collapse.
I used the eavesdropping metaphor above because this book is not an easy read for the outsider. However, having read contributor Arthur Demarest's book Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization , I was able to follow the broader arguments and themes of the book. Readers with less previous experience would do well to consult the helpful map on page 13 and Demarest's "polythetic set" of general traits of classic Maya political and economic systems p. Historians of Latin America may find this book useful, if, for example, they are interested in agricultural cycles or the history of disasters in the Maya world.
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