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The Classic Maya Collapse - DATE CHANGED

New Evidence on a Great Mystery - Lecturer: Simon Martin

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 |
6:00PM - 7:00PM

warden garden aerial view


Harrison Auditorium - Penn Museum



We have postponed this event in accordance with the CDC and Penn recommendations regarding COVID-19. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide a new date as soon as possible. If you purchased tickets, you should have received a refund and email from us. Please reach out with any questions:

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The Maya of the Classic Period 150–900 CE created one of the most dynamic and successful societies of the ancient Americas. Millions of people inhabited thousands of settlements, divided among more than a hundred kingdoms. By controlling water resources and terraforming the landscape they developed an agricultural system that supported a ruling class of king and, nobles, as well as strata of artists, architects, potters, merchants, and warriors. But at about 800 things began to go seriously wrong and within a century all their great cities were abandoned, never to be reoccupied. One of the great problems of world archaeology, this catastrophe has never lacked theories, what it lacked was hard facts pointing to an explanation. But today we might finally be close to understanding what happened and laying a mystery to rest.

NEW! Come early to join a PhD candidate or collections expert for a pre-lecture Daily Dig object talk at 4:30pm that will highlight the each month's lecture topic, with no registration required. And before each of the Greats Lectures, the Museum Café will serve delicious, daily-prepared hot entrees, soup, and sandwiches. Arrive in the late afternoon to enjoy all the Museum has to offer!


Simon Martin, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor, Anthropology, Curator, American Section, Penn Museum

$10 General Admission | $7 Member

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