Cities in premodern Mesoamerica often thrived for hundreds of years, so why do most of us focus only on how these cities collapsed? A new paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Mansueto Institute and Department of Anthropology postdoctoral fellow Adrian S.Z. Chase and colleagues across the country and in Guatemala and Mexico, encourages us to look at how these indigenous cities — located in what is currently Central America — survived and thrived for centuries despite many natural and social changes. In it, the authors focus on how the diversity of these cities contributed to their resilience and adaptation, with the aim of helping spark renewed dialogue between archaeologists and modern urbanists. More successful cities tended to have longer stints of collective governance, according to the authors. Additionally, people in these cities seem to have handled climatic changes by either adapting locally or by moving to another city. Chase also discusses his work mixing archaeology and modern urban studies in a podcast interview with The Tel, “Mapping Ancient Maya Cities,” focusing on his work at the Mansueto Institute.