11 lost civilizations and how they might have fallen

When ancient civilizations fall, the reasons for their demise often remain a mystery. But modern science has helped us paint a clearer picture of what may have brought a few of the most famous cultures to extinction. For more fascinating facts, check out Listomania.

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/01-sumer-zig-ur-1.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    01_sumer_zig_ur

    Sumer
    Middle East
    5000s-2000s BCE Probable cause of demise: Invasion Pictured: U.S. Soldiers climb the steps of the Ziggurat of Ur, a Sumerian monument built during the Early Bronze Age (21st century BC).
    Spc. Samantha Ciaramitaro/U.S. Army
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/02-minoan-bull.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    02_minoan_bull

    Minoan
    Southern Europe
    2700s-1500s BCE Probable cause of demise: Natural disaster, invasion Pictured: A fresco found at the Minoan site of Knossos, indicating a sport or ritual of "bull leaping", the red skinned figure is a man and the two light skinned figures are women.
    Public Domain
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/03-harappa-coach.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    03_harappa_coach

    Harappa
    Indian Subcontinent
    3300s-1300s BCE Probable cause of demise: Environmental collapse Pictured: A Harappan coach driver, ~2000 BCE
    Miya M.
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/04-nok-sculpture.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    04_nok_sculpture

    Nok
    Africa
    1000s BCE-500s CE Probable cause of demise: Unknown Pictured: Nok sculpture. Terracotta, 6th century BCE–6th century CE, Nigeria.
    Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/05-mayan-acropolis.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    05_mayan_acropolis

    Maya
    Central America
    2600s BCE-900s CE Probable cause of demise: Environmental collapse, overpopulation Pictured: North Acropolis, Tikal, Guatemala.
    Public Domain
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/06-anasazi-dwelling.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    06_anasazi_dwelling

    Anasazi
    North America
    1200s BCE-1300s CE Probable cause of demise: Environmental collapse, overpopulation Pictured: Remains of multistory dwellings constructed into the side of the canyon wall at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico.
    Public Domain
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/07-pitcairn-island.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    07_pitcairn_island

    Polynesians of the Pitcairn Islands
    South Pacific
    1000s-1400s Probable cause of demise: Invasions, disease Pictured: NASA Satellite Image of Pitcairn Island in the Pacific Ocean.
    NASA
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/08-aztec-pyramid.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    08_aztec_pyramid

    Aztec
    Central America
    1200s-1500s Probable cause of demise: Invasions, disease Pictured: The Aztec Pyramid at St. Cecilia Acatitlan, Mexico State.
    Public Domain
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/09-inca-machupicchu.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    09_inca_machupicchu

    Inca
    South America
    1200s-1572 Probable cause of demise: Disease, overpopulation Pictured: Machu Picchu Temple of the Sun (also named "the watch tower"), located in the Cusco Region of Peru, South America.
    Fabricio Guzmán
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/10-rapa-nui-moai.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    10_rapa_nui_moai

    Rapa Nui
    South Pacific
    300s-1800s Probable cause of demise: Environmental collapse, overpopulation Pictured: Moai, monolithic human figures carved from rock, at Rano Raraku, Easter Island.
    Public Domain
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/11-beothuk-museum.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    11_beothuk_museum

    Beothuk
    North America
    1500s-1829 Probable cause of demise: Invasion, disease Pictured: A Beothuk archaeological site and museum in northeastern Newfoundland.
    Carl B.
Image 1 of 10