The Maya has long been established as the best, most readable introduction to the New Worlds greatest ancient civilization. In these pages, Professor ...Show synopsisThe Maya has long been established as the best, most readable introduction to the New Worlds greatest ancient civilization. In these pages, Professor Coe distils a lifetimes scholarship for the general reader and student. The eighth edition incorporates the latest archaeological and epigraphic research, which continues to proceed at a fast pace. Among the finest new discoveries are the spectacular polychrome murals of Calakmul, which provide archaeological evidence for the importance of marketplaces in the Classic Maya cities as well as giving a unique glimpse into Maya daily life. It concludes with new historical evidence for the crucial role played by collaborationist native leaders, both Maya and non-Maya, in the Spanish conquest of the region.Hide synopsis
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Coe brings past civilizations back to life. Archaeology is a fascinating field. It is the forensics science of past civilizations. It's amazing what archaelogists can discover by digging and studying pollen in tree rings. Trees are living witnesses of what went on, especially when it comes to crop successes and failures, which caused people to move from one location to another while the soil recovered. Coe's book provides us with insights into what daily life was like during the various phases of Mayan history. It's especially interesting to study their diet and to realize that it hasn't changed much in our day. It seems to me, and I mention this as an observation, that these indigenous people that change over to today's fast food diet tend to develop health problems that lead to diabetes and heart disease, so I am an advocate of stressing to these people that they should keep their old diet as a basis, and add anything else that won't hurt them. In other words, they should stick to a low carb diet.
It's too bad that most of their records were burned; they could have taught us a lot. It is true that some things are better left buried, but not in all cases. There were certain practices and rituals that are unaceptable today in Western society; they still go on in our world, but we can learn from the mistakes and successes of past civilizations. They speak from the dust.
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