Civilizations don’t last forever. Just ask the Aztecs. Or the Maya. Or fans of the original Roman Empire.

From the ancient Myceneans in the Mediterranean to the Anasazi in Arizona, societies throughout history have often gone the way of the dinosaurs and the dodo. Wars, or disease, or altered weather patterns, or natural disasters, or famine have repeatedly tipped complex regional societies past the point of stability, initiating chaos, ruin and ultimately total demise.

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