This bibliometric analysis deals with research on the collapse of the Maya civilization—a research topic with a long-lasting history, which has been boosted significantly by recent paleoclimatic research. The study is based on a publication set of 433 papers published between 1923 and 2016. The publications covered by the Web of Science (WoS) show a significant increase since 1990, reaching about 30 papers per year at present. The results show that the current discourse on the collapse of the Maya civilization is focused on the role of climate as a major factor for the demise of this ancient civilization. The bibliometric analyses also reveal that (1) paleoclimatic records become numerous and are increasingly better dated; (2) the explanatory power of the records has been significantly increased by analyzing samples from regions closer to the relevant Maya sites; and (3) interdisciplinary cooperation of the humanities (archeology, anthropology, history) with natural sciences disciplines (geoscience, ecology, paleoclimatology, meteorology) seems to be highly promising. The collapse of the Maya civilization is a good example of how natural sciences entered research in the humanities and social sciences (anthropology, archeology, history) and boosted research (and solutions) around long-discussed, but unsolved questions.
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