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The Maya forged one of the greatest societies in the history of the ancient Americas and in all of human history. Long before contact with Europeans, Maya communities built spectacular cities with large, well-fed large populations. They mastered the visual arts, and developed a sophisticated writing system that recorded extraordinary knowledge in calendrics, mathematics, and astronomy. The Maya achieved all this without area-wide centralized control. There was never a single, unified Maya state or empire, but always numerous, evolving ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct Mayan languages. The people we call "Maya" never thought of themselves as such; yet something definable, unique, and endlessly fascinating - what we call Maya culture - has clearly existed for millennia. So what was their self-identity and how did Maya civilization come to be "invented?" With the Maya historically subdivided and misunderstood in so many ways, the pursuit of what made them "the Maya" is all the more important. In this Very Short Introduction, Restall and Solari explore the themes of Maya identity, city-state political culture, art and architecture, the Maya concept of the cosmos, and the Maya experience of contact with including invasion by outsiders. Despite its brevity, this book is unique for its treatment of all periods of Maya civilization, from its origins to the present.
Uncover some of the most chilling practices of the Maya. This book explores all the gruesome details, from rituals and rites to battles and sieges, with a detail that young readers will love! Prepare to be horrified by the customs and culture of the Maya!
Thanks to powerful innovations in archaeology and other types of historical research, we now have a picture of everyday life in the Mayan empire that turns the long-accepted conventional wisdom on its head. * Includes numerous illustrations and drawings plus depictions of important artifacts such as the murals of Bonampak and the hieroglyphic stairway of Copan * Provides detailed maps of major Maya cities as well as other research sites
Micah Dunn investigates a murderous plot to discredit an archaeologist In steamy downtown New Orleans, Gregory Thorpe is presenting an exhibition that could rewrite the history of the ancient Mayans. But when fake artifacts begin appearing alongside the authentic ones, Thorpe’s reputation is thrown into jeopardy. To trace the fraud, Thorpe hires Micah Dunn, a world-weary private detective whose tour in Vietnam cost him the use of one of his arms and provided fodder for decades of nightmares. PI work is boring, repetitive, and safe, but clearing Thorpe’s name will expose Dunn to the kind of danger he thought he left behind in the jungle. Dunn has experience working with archaeology, and he knows the field is cutthroat. Thorpe is not well liked on the Tulane campus, and any of his colleagues or grad students could be responsible for the fraud. When one of the suspects turns up dead, Dunn realizes that someone in New Orleans will kill to keep the Mayan past buried.
The rich findings of recent exploration and research are incorporated in this completely revised and greatly expanded sixth edition of this standard work on the Maya people. New field discoveries, new technical advances, new successes in the decipherment of Maya writing, and new theoretical perspectives on the Maya past have made this new edition necessary.
Learn about the Maya, a brilliant and bloodthirsty culture, with ominous predictions about the end of the Fourth Age of Creation on December 21, 2012... The Maya created a civilization based on terror and human sacrifice and yet managed to excel in the arts, writing, mathematics, astronomy, and the building of temple structures that rival the Egyptian pyramids. However, by the time the Spanish arrived, most of the great Mayan cities had been abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle. Why did this happen? The Maya, People of the Maize is a brief guidebook for readers interested in an overall view of the intriguing and fascinating Mayan culture. It offers readers a basic understanding of ancient Mayan history, religion, and social structure. The Maya, People of the Maize includes examples of Mayan art, pictures and descriptions of Mayan temples, as well as translations of Mayan glyphs-- including the glyphs of the Mayan Long Count Calendar. At the end of the book, the author has included information about predictions concerning the end of the Fourth Age of Creation, December 21, 2012. These predictions come not only from the Maya themselves, but from the I Ching, Edgar Cayce, the Hopi nation, and other sources.
In this archaeological study, Arthur Demarest brings the lost pre-Columbian civilization of the Maya to life. In applying a holistic perspective to the most recent evidence from archaeology, paleoecology, and epigraphy, this theoretical interpretation emphasizes both the brilliant rain forest adaptations of the ancient Maya and the Native American spirituality that permeated all aspects of their daily life.
Archaeoastronomy and the Maya illustrates archaeoastronomical approaches to ancient Mayan cultural production. The book is contextualized through a history of archaeoastronomical investigations into Mayan sites, originating in the 19th century discovery of astronomical tables within hieroglyphic books. Early 20th century archaeological excavations revealed inscriptions carved into stone that also preserved astronomical records, along with architecture that was built to reflect astronomical orientations. These materials provided the basis of a growing professionalized archaeoastronomy, blossoming in the 1970s and expanding into recent years. The chapters here exemplify the advances made in the field during the early 21st century as well as the on-going diversity of approaches, presenting new perspectives and discoveries in ancient Mayan astronomy that result from recent studies of architectural alignments, codices, epigraphy, iconography, ethnography, and calendrics. More than just investigations of esoteric ancient sciences, studies of ancient Mayan astronomy have profoundly aided our understanding of Mayan worldviews. Concepts of time and space, meanings encoded in religious art, intentions underlying architectural alignments, and even methods of political legitimization are all illuminated through the study of Mayan astronomy.
Long before European boats reached the shores of the Americas, sophisticated civilizations had already developed throughout the continents. The empire of the Maya, located in modern Mexico and Central America, influenced civilization there for centuries. The ancient Maya had fully developed the idea of the calendar, detailed a writing system, pioneered new ideas in agriculture, and built towering palaces and temples that still stand today. Empire of the Ancient Maya gives a brief summary of the history of the empire, placing it within the context of its time period and geographical location, and then explores the evolution of Maya civilization from its origin through the classic period to the Spanish conquest. Delving into daily life, the book includes Maya achievements in mathematics, astronomy, technology, political organization, commerce, architecture, and the arts.
A book of archaeological adventure in Central America. Gann's book discusses 'devil dances, ' Mayan religion, exotic flints, and has lots of photos, maps and diagrams from the 20s.
An introduction to the dramatic history of the Maya. Includes facts, activities and a traditional story, bringing to life different aspects of the Maya civilization.