Scholars have long puzzled over the Maya civilization's rise to glory and fall to ruin. The latest thinking is that a man named Fire Is Born made the Maya great. But no one person or problem caused the collapse. Simply put, everything went wrong.
The cover story of the August 2007 issue of National Geographic Magazine explores current theories on the rise and fall of the Maya. Joining the standard NG treatment ('imaginative' drawings recreating moments in Maya history) are selected art objects and dramatic photography of Maya sites. The online version of the magazine includes features such as an interactive map and interviews with the writer and photographer, and related links to other NG features, web sites and printed books and articles.