Coe and Houston update this classic account of the New Worlds greatest ancient civilization, incorporating the most recent research in a fast-changing field. New discoveries of spectacular stucco sculptures at El Zotz and Holmul reveal surprising aspects of Maya royalty; the Classic Maya themselves can be understood as occupants of royal courts, ...
Coe and Houston update this classic account of the New Worlds greatest ancient civilization, incorporating the most recent research in a fast-changing field. New discoveries of spectacular stucco sculptures at El Zotz and Holmul reveal surprising aspects of Maya royalty; the Classic Maya themselves can be understood as occupants of royal courts, full of Machiavellian intrigue yet operating in close communion with gods and cosmos. Just-discovered texts at Xultun show a strong concern with astronomy and numerology, as well as evidence of lost books. Other finds include the discovery in an underwater cavern of the earliest known occupant of the region, the Hoyo Negro girl, and new evidence for the first architecture at Ceibal. The Maya highlights the vitality of current scholarship into this brilliant civilization.
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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.
Apr 1, 2007
Easy to Read
This book is a great overview of the Maya and easy to read. It's a classic.
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