Human societies as temporally and spatially far-flung as the Mesopotamians, Mayans, and Easter Islanders likely came to ruin by expanding beyond the capacity of their environments to sustain them.

– William E. Rees

The Maya lived in Central America as far back as 1800 BC and flourished in the region for thousands of years. The empire is estimated to have collapsed between 800 and 1000 AD due to several severe droughts that deprived the urban reservoirs of water and prevented rulers from attracting farmers or subjects during the dry season. People would often just move away because of a lack of clean drinking water. Decreasing rainfall also meant that crops were in danger, and Kings lost their means of power because their power was heavily tied to resources and being able to maintain them. In fact, most Mayan rulers linked their powers to deities and so, when the people were suffering from a drought, the kings lost their popularity as there was no trust in them or the higher power they were claiming to have linked with. In other parts of the empire, deforestation reduced further prevented the trade of goods.