For approximately 1,500 years the Mayan empire reigned supreme in what is now southern Mexico and northern Central America. But for some reason, in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., the Mayan architects stopped building, its historians stopped recording history, and the civilization seemed to almost completely disappear. There has been ongoing speculation for the Mayans' demise including that they were wiped out by disease as what occurred to many Indians in North America. Or perhaps it was a civil war, or an army of invading forces or some type of ecological calamity. Most recently, in 2012, a study from the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research in Mexico concluded that rainfall reductions drove the Mayans into oblivion, though many remain skeptical of that rather uninspiring conclusion.