The Mayas were a Mesoamerican civilization known for their written language, for their culture and for their mathematical skills. Maya people established their settlements in approximately 2000 BC. That year, the Pre-Classic Maya period begun and lasted until AD 250. The Classic period of Maya lasted from 250 until 900 and in 900 began the Post-Classic period which lasted until the arrival of the Spanish on their lands. The people did not disappear, but they were colonized once the Spanish colonized the Americas. The collapse of this civilization refers actually to the Classic Maya collapse. This term describes the decline of the Classic period and the time in which the people abandoned the Classic cities between 800 and 900. This phenomenon is one of the most intriguing mysteries in history, because no one is capable to understand why a civilization so sophisticated abandoned its lands and its homes and gave up building new constructions. Although this period between 800 and 900 is regarded as the Classic Maya collapse, the people continued their lives.
Apparently, the people abandoned their lands because of factors as climate change, deforestation and political problems. Some historians even suggest that a foreign invasion took place on the Maya territory, forcing people to leave their homes. Such an invasion could be the one that destroyed the Classic Maya, although all the possible explanations are based on suppositions. The Toltec people could be the one to blame, but if they would have attacked the Maya, why is not there any evidence of military defeat? According to some, the population also endured revolts of the peasants because of epidemics and lack of food, as the environment could not provide for so many people anymore.
Scientists, on the other hand, share the opinion that the Mayas collapse was the result of drought. It is supposed that this was a process of about 200 years, as the people used to transform the forest into cropland and reduced the possibility of rainfall. Without having access to water, the civilization needed to find another place and abandoned its lands. The problems is that the mystery will not be solved very soon, as there is not certain proof of what exactly happen to the Maya civilization. One things is for sure, the Classical period collapsed, but the people continued to live among others and they still have descendants nowadays.