arc of the rise and fall


Senior Member
I would like to know what "arc" means in the following contexts:

1.The arc of the Mayan rise and fall is well known: The civilization first took hold in 1,800 BC, in the Central American region that now includes and surrounds Guatemala. ...

2. The Mayan arc was hardly smooth and steady, and there were periods of turbulence and decline even during the golden era.

Thank you.
  • exgerman

    Senior Member
    English but my first language was German
    Think of the timeline of the Mayan civilization as a graph. They started with a relatively low level of culture, became quite successful for a long time and then declined. The shape of this curve on the graph is like an arc.


    English- USA
    An arc is basically a rainbow-shape. Perhaps the Myan civilization rose and fell gradually, the author is using the "arc" to paint a picture of their "time-line", so to speak.
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