Archival prints, scenic photographs, multiple artifacts, and a simple timeline are prominently displayed through comprehensive examinations about the great civilizations of the Mayans, Incas, Romans, and Chinese. Books in "The Ancient World" series engage readers with historical elements and substantial resources as multiple relevant influences to modern times are highlighted in separate full page spreads with contrasting text and visuals, titled "The Past Is Present." The Mayan people lived in the area from central Mexico southward to Honduras to Nicaragua called Mesoamerica. Readers trace significant details by making appropriate connections to Mayan daily life such as in mathematics, system of writing, classic structures, carvings and statues, rituals, agriculture, and natural resources. The area has roots older than the Mayans; Spanish expeditions and subsequent domination also link cultures in substantial ways. Pages in the series have key words in bold listed in the margin as a brief dictionary entry for better clarity. Enlightening chapters range from the Maya's rise to power in Mesoamerica, the dichotomy of life, topographical aspects, corn's major role, and prominence of the gods. Of additional significance in these books are mini-biographies of famous rulers, a nice glossary, thorough index, and brief bibliography. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.