The Mayans who thrived in central America were a territorial bunch and were known for in-fighting. Traditionally, historians believe that the large-scale conflicts during the classic Maya period between AD 800-950 were the cause of its demise.
However, recently excavated river debris and sediment core data suggest that major conflicts had begun as early as year 690 or 700. The burnt wood fragments salvaged from the surroundings of a Mayan ceremonial center suggest that major battles had been waged long before the classic period.
The ruling Witzna royal family was believed to have suffered a crushing defeat and were forced to relegate to a smaller settlement with little semblance of their former glory, as they abandoned their original homeland.