The Aztecs

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This book is a vivid and comprehensive account of the Aztecs, the best-known people of pre-Columbian America. It examines their origins, civilization, and the distinctive realms of Aztec religion, science, and thought. It describes the conquest of their empire by the Spanish, and the fate of their descendants to the present day in Central Mexico, making use of the results of the latest excavations, historical documentation, and the author's first-hand knowledge. There is also a fascinating and detailed account of...
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The Aztecs

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Overview

This book is a vivid and comprehensive account of the Aztecs, the best-known people of pre-Columbian America. It examines their origins, civilization, and the distinctive realms of Aztec religion, science, and thought. It describes the conquest of their empire by the Spanish, and the fate of their descendants to the present day in Central Mexico, making use of the results of the latest excavations, historical documentation, and the author's first-hand knowledge. There is also a fascinating and detailed account of the daily life of the Aztec people, including their economy, family life, class system, and food.

This second edition updates the original text with new descriptions of major archaeological sites such as Malinalco and Tlatelolco and expanded coverage of codices, religion, and areas distant from the capital. Dozens of photographs and illustrations have been added for this edition, making this the most informative and up-to-date treatment of Aztec civilization.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Of the many overviews of the Aztecs, such as those by Brian Fagan (The Aztecs, 1984) and Robert Townsend (The Aztecs, LJ 5/15/92), this is the first to break from the traditional focus on the nobility and on urban life in Tenochtitlan. Within the framework provided by the chronicles and by monument archaeology, Smith (Architectural Research of Aztec-Period Rural Sites in Morelos, Mexico, Vol. 1, Univ. of Pittsburgh, 1992) summarizes the results of archaeological research conducted largely in the past 30 years into the everyday lives of ordinary people in the villages, hamlets, and farmsteads from many regions of central Mexico. His method permits a fresh view of such topics as agricultural methods, population size, market system, relations between city-states and the empire, and even human sacrifice. Smith carries his social account of these people through transformation under Spanish rule and their legacy in modern Mexico. This most comprehensive survey to date on the Aztecs belongs in libraries interested in Pre-Columbian America.-William S. Dancey, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631230151
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Series: Peoples of America Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael E. Smith is Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Albany. He has directed excavations at numerous Aztec sites and is co-editor (with Marilyn Masson) of The Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica: A Reader (Blackwell, 1999).
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Guide to Pronunciation and Spelling
1 The Aztecs of Mesoamerica 1
2 The Rise of Aztec Civilization 28
3 People on the Landscape 56
4 Artisans and their Wares 78
5 The Commerical Economy 106
6 Family and Social Class 125
7 City-State and Empire 147
8 Cities and Urban Planning 172
9 Creation, Death, and the Gods 192
10 Temples and Ceremonies 212
11 Science and Art 238
12 Final Glory, Conquest, and Legacy 268
Notes 294
Glossary of Nahuatl Terms 319
References 321
Index 355
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