The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.
Why do societies collapse? Often they are overextended, consume too many resources for their hinterland network to supply or they aren't able to adapt to changes to the system. Angkor Wat, the largest urban complex of the pre-industrial world, collapsed primarily due to drought conditions and a changing ecology. Without sufficient water resources, the network collapsed. What other environment 'collapses' can you think of?
Societies can collapse if they fall victim to poor economics, poor political systems, and poor geographical reasons. In this case a major factor in Angkor's collapse was due to the change in climate. The drought was severe enough to crumble the city. Considering the times, Angkor had sufficiant modern technology to gain water resources; however it just was not enough. Here is an example of how drastic climate changes can effect a society. The image of Angkor Wat can be seen as a symbol of pride for Cambodia. The depiction is on Cambodia's flag. Elizabeth Allen
Via Seth Dixon