National Geographic : 1922 Sep
320 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by T. Maler, courtesy Peabody Museum of Harvard University MAYA RUINS AT PALENQUE, MEXICO In pre-Columbian days the civilizations in Mexico and Central America reached a high state and then died out. Records recently translated show that terrible epidemics occurred. One affliction was known as the when-the-buzzards-entered-the-house disease-an eloquent portrayal of an epidemic so fatal that there were none left to bury the dead. Yellow fever or smallpox is believed to have been the malady thus described.