In the ninth century, southern lowland Maya civilization went into a mysterious decline. Despite the wealth of information that bones could potentially provide towards explaining the collapse, bioarchaeologists have been traditionally unable to study Maya bones because the tropical climate and uninformed excavations have resulted in decomposed, poorly collected samples. But during the last twenty years, new techniques in osteology have yielded finds on Maya diet and health that challenge the accepted ecological model of overpopulation and overcultivation leading to collapse. Fifteen essays on skeltons from a wide range of sites in Mexico and Central America address such subjects as cranial deforamtion, tooth filing, damage caused by sacrificial rites and evidence of nutritional and infectious diseases. What emerges is a picture of regional variation and the importance of local context in order to reconstruct ancinet Maya culture and explain its demise.