Throughout human history, great civilizationshaverisen and fallen. What’s notable is that there is often little evidenceof why great empires become so powerful andthen mysteriously disappear into dust. We will take a look at three great civilizations that were some of the most developed of their time, with both strong armies and city infrastructure, whichsimply could not withstand the test of time.
- The Khmer
Chances are you have heard of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This world-famoustourism destination is part of Cambodia’s ancient capital that was built by the Khmer Empire. These people were incredibly powerful as displayed by the scope of theirconstructions. They were also believed to be the most military dominant empire in SoutheastAsia. The empire’sreligions contained a mixture of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Therearemanytheories toexplain the decline of the empire. Some historianspropose civil wars as the main reason. Othersbelieve the Khmers development of an extensive road network throughout their empire also worked against them by making it easier for a foreign power, such as the Ayuthaya, to invade.
- The Mayans
The Mayan Empire was centered in what is present-day Guatemala in Central America.This civilization excelled at construction, agriculture, and pottery.
The Mayans are famous worldwide for the construction of their magnificent temples. These feats of engineeringcontinue to amaze historians.
If you’re wondering why did the Mayans disappear, then you should know that there are many theories. Some believe that a civil war broke out and decimated the civilization. Others believe that a drought or other environmental disaster took its toll on the population. Another theory is that a powerfulforeignmilitary power invaded the empire and sacked its key cities.
It is also likely that all three of these possibilities combinedis what toppled the empire.
- The Mycenaeans
These people were locatedin southern Greece. They were spread out across the southern mainland and adjacentislands. Theirproximity to the water is what developed the Mycenaeans into a nation of great sailors. They used their naval superiority for both trade and warfare with other nations.
The Mycenaeans are known as the first advanced civilizations in mainland Greece,andtheir arrival signaled the end of the Bronze Age.
The civilization ended up collapsing leading up to the Greek Dark Ages. There are many reasons given for the decline of the empire. Some historians believe it was causedby an invasion by either the Dorian or the Sea People(perhaps both). Othersbelieve that civil unrest developed between thepeasant and ruling classes, which lead to revolts and other internal struggles that gravely affected the management of the empire.Natural disasters such as earthquakes may also have played a part.
Thesecivilizations were some of the most powerful seen throughout human history. In fact, many monuments of their civilizations survive to this day while continuing to amaze architects, engineers,and historians. It is amazing that such great empires could be toppled into nothingness.