The Mysterious Decline of the Mayan Empire

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Temple of the Inscriptions, ca 675, Palenque (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1987), Chiapas, Mexico. Mayan civilisation, 7th century.

In 2013, archeologists in the Yucatan Peninsula, home of the ancient Mayan Civilization, discovered a previously unknown dynasty called the Snake Kings. Science writer Erik Vance joins us to discuss his latest piece for National Geographic, "In Search of the Lost Empire of the Maya." about the lost empire of the ancient Mayans. Vance details how the Mayan “Snake kings” brilliantly used force and diplomacy to create powerful alliances across Mexico, and reveals they are the only rulers that made a Mayan Empire worth the name.