Before the Volcano Erupted: The Ancient Cerén Village in Central America by Payson D. Sheets, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Before the Volcano Erupted: The Ancient Cerén Village in Central America

Before the Volcano Erupted: The Ancient Cerén Village in Central America

by Payson Sheets
     
 

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On an August evening around AD 600, residents of the Cerén village in the Zapotitán Valley of what is now El Salvador were sitting down to their nightly meal when ground tremors and loud steam emissions warned of an impending volcanic eruption. The villagers fled, leaving their town to be buried under five meters of volcanic ash and forgotten until a

Overview

On an August evening around AD 600, residents of the Cerén village in the Zapotitán Valley of what is now El Salvador were sitting down to their nightly meal when ground tremors and loud steam emissions warned of an impending volcanic eruption. The villagers fled, leaving their town to be buried under five meters of volcanic ash and forgotten until a bulldozer uncovered evidence of the extraordinarily preserved town in 1976. The most intact Precolumbian village in Latin America, Cerén has been called the "Pompeii of the New World."

This book and its accompanying CD-ROM and website (ceren.colorado.edu) present complete and detailed reports of the excavations carried out at Cerén since 1978 by a multidisciplinary team of archaeologists, ethnographers, volcanologists, geophysicists, botanists, conservators, and others. The book is divided into sections that discuss the physical environment and resources, household structures and economy, special buildings and their uses, artifact analysis, and topical and theoretical issues.

As the authors present and analyze Cerén's houses and their goods, workshops, civic and religious buildings, kitchen gardens, planted fields, and garbage dumps, a new and much clearer picture of how commoners lived during the Maya Classic Period emerges. These findings constitute landmark contributions to the anthropology and archaeology of Central America.

Editorial Reviews

The Holocene - Charles D. Frederick
Overall, Before the Volcano Erupted will open the eyes of many Mesoamerican archaeologists to the magnitude of what they may normally be missing, and will stand as a widely cited benchmark for years to come. It is a must-buy for Mayanists, most Mesoamerican archaeologists and students of volcanic archaeology, but archaeologists in general will find it a phenomenally interesting read.
The Holocene
"Overall, Before the Volcano Erupted will open the eyes of many Mesoamerican archaeologists to the magnitude of what they may normally be missing, and will stand as a widely cited benchmark for years to come. It is a must-buy for Mayanists, most Mesoamerican archaeologists and students of volcanic archaeology, but archaeologists in general will find it a phenomenally interesting read."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292726215
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
11/13/2013
Pages:
238
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Paul Healy
The level of insight and reconstruction possible at Cerén is almost unparalleled in archaeology, certainly in the New World. . . . It's a remarkable story.
Paul Healy, Professor of Anthropology, Trent University

Meet the Author

Payson Sheets is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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