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The classic Maya collapse: study of the internal warfare theory

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  1. Increasing power of Late Classic Maya elites
    1. Late Classic Maya social order: a stratified society
    2. Social ranking in Maya society
    3. Elite dominance in the Late Classic period
  2. The endemic warfare model
    1. Regionalism and political fragmentation
    2. Archaeological evidence of internal warfare among Maya centers in the Late Classic period
    3. Intestine wars and Classic Maya collapse: did ''the quest of power by Maya royalty le[a]d to the downfall of the Classic polities throughout Maya lowlands'' (Rice 2007: 311)
  3. The peasant revolt thesis
    1. ''A widening social distance between the Maya elite and the commoners during the Late Classic period'' (Willey and Shimkin 1973: 44)
    2. Peasant rebellions, an increasing problem in the Late Classic period
    3. Peasant revolts and Classic Maya collapse

In 1970, an advanced seminar was held at the School of American research in Santa Fe, New Mexico in order to compare the field data which had been collected on the lowlands collapse and the various theories which were formulated by anthropologists to understand the fall of this civilization. However, the role of conflicts between Maya centers during the Late Classic period was poorly discussed. Today, the significance of Maya warfare in the comprehension of the collapse is widely recognized. However, a long-standing debate has been doing the rounds with two "schools of thoughts". It supports the endemic warfare thesis that says the anthropologists who believe that chronic wars between regional centers triggered the fall of the Classic Maya civilization.

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