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    For over a thousand years, the Maya built a civilization in the jungle – creating pyramids, sculptures and paintings.

    Then around 800 AD, they practically vanished. Scientific sleuth Dick Gill has spent nearly twenty years proving his theory that a devastating drought wiped out the Maya.

    Luckily, the jungle grew over most of the remnants of their civilization before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors, so a significant amount was preserved, rather than destroyed, which was the routine of the European colonizers of the Americas.

    Their pyramids we re-discovered largely in the 20th century and the Maya script began to be decoded only in the 1980s, making this the hottest archeological arena, ever since.

    The program follows Gill on a journey of discovery: to an archaeological site in Belize, where there is evidence of a sudden abandonment.

    With geologists, he takes  cores from a remote lake in Mexico’s Yucatan that show evidence of an exceptional drought at the time of the Maya collapse. Visiting the slopes of the rumbling volcano of Popocatepetl, he searches for evidence of an eruption that may have triggered a drought.

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    Alexandra Bruce

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