Daily Life in Maya Civilization

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Overview

This examination of daily life in ancient Maya civilization presents the very latest discoveries and interpretations and corrects popular misconceptions. Based on the results of recent research from a variety of disciplines, it traces Maya civilization from its earliest beginnings to the Spanish conquest in the 16th century and shows how the Maya successfully adapted to their environment and preserved their traditional culture and languages from oppression over thousands of years. Archaeologist Sharer, one of the...
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Daily Life in Maya Civilization

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Overview

This examination of daily life in ancient Maya civilization presents the very latest discoveries and interpretations and corrects popular misconceptions. Based on the results of recent research from a variety of disciplines, it traces Maya civilization from its earliest beginnings to the Spanish conquest in the 16th century and shows how the Maya successfully adapted to their environment and preserved their traditional culture and languages from oppression over thousands of years. Archaeologist Sharer, one of the foremost experts on the Maya, offers unique insights into Maya civilization based on 30 years of living and working in Central America. Over 60 illustrations and photographs of Maya life, artifacts, and archaeological sites bring the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural aspects of Maya civilization to life. For ease of use by students, the work is organized into chapters covering all aspects of Maya life and civilization: the foundations of Maya life and civilization; early, middle, and late Maya civilization; economy food production and trade; social and political systems; writing and calendars; life cycle events; arts and crafts; and religion. The work closes with discussion of the meaning of Maya civilization for us today - how the achievements and failures of the Maya past can be of benefit to the modern world. The work includes a historical timeline of Maya civilization and a bibliography for further reading. This work will replace all earlier resources on the Maya and will provide school and public librarians and students with the most up-to-date and historically accurate information on the Maya.

"Popular overview of Maya civilization. Begins with basic observations about archaeology and the Maya, then presents a synthesis of Maya history to provide the context for a topically organized characterization of the Maya cultural tradition. Essentially a streamlined version of author's The ancient Maya, though less detailed and less extensively illustrated"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In this update to the 1996 edition, Sharer (Quirigua) includes scholarship from newly deciphered Maya writings and from fresh archaeological discoveries in the lowland, highland, and Pacific Coast areas. Special attention has also been paid to the Early Maya segment, reflecting an upsurge in relevant scholarship. The book's 13 chapters move through the Maya civilization's 13,000-year social, economic, and cultural development. Also offered is a thought-provoking consideration of Maya civilization and the lessons it can impart to contemporary Western society. An absorbing read.'

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Library Journal

"This reference for general readers and students in high school and up draws on established facts and data-based hypotheses to reconstruct the ancient Maya civilization, and also draws on the author's 40 years of experience directing archaeological excavations at Maya sites in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Rather than continually citing the

vast literature, the referencing system used in the first edition has been continued and expanded for this second edition: a listing of principal sources of information for subjects covered at the end of each chapter. For this edition, there are new references to DVDs and web sites. This second edition reflects newly discovered sites and new decipherments of

Maya writing since the first edition was published in 1996, and contains a new chapter on the changes that occurred at the end of the Middle Maya civilization. To make room for this chapter, the chapter on arts and crafts has been dropped, with information incorporated into chapters on the economy and society. There are 12 new B&W illustrations. A chronology and notes on pronunciation are included."

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Reference & Research Book News

"This new Daily Life in Maya Civilization is highly recommended for Central American and Mexican history collections in academic and public libraries."

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ARBAonline

Library Journal
In this update to the 1996 edition, Sharer (Quirigua) includes scholarship from newly deciphered Maya writings and from fresh archaeological discoveries in the lowland, highland, and Pacific Coast areas. Special attention has also been paid to the Early Maya segment, reflecting an upsurge in relevant scholarship. The book's 13 chapters move through the Maya civilization's 13,000-year social, economic, and cultural development. Also offered is a thought-provoking consideration of Maya civilization and the lessons it can impart to contemporary Western society. An absorbing read.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-This thorough study of Mayan culture begins with a history of the development of this civilization over several thousand years. The author explains the effects of climate and terrain on population shifts and how archaeologists study sites and reconstruct societies from their findings. Following chapters discuss the rise and fall of royal dynasties, economic growth, social roles and strata, daily life, political organization, and religion. An in-depth examination of Mayan writing and numerical systems and the development of a complex calendrical record demonstrates the sophistication of this culture. An extensive bibliography is included. Black-and-white photographs of art, artifacts, excavations, and contemporary Mayan life as well as charts and a map extend the well-written text, but the book's overall appearance is bland and utilitarian. Carolyn Meyer and Charles Gallenkamp's The Mystery of the Ancient Maya (McElderry, 1994) is less detailed, but provides some colorful background information about earlier archaeological expeditions. Libraries needing comprehensive material about the Mayans will welcome Sharer's new title.-Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR
Booknews
A reconstruction of ancient Mayan daily life critiquing popular myths and establishing a new standard for archeological and scholarly research into the Mayan culture. Archeologist Sharer examines Maya civilization from 1500 B.C. to the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, demonstrating how the Mayan successfully preserved tradition after thousands of years of oppression. The study considers topics in economy, social and political systems, writing, calendars, life cycle rituals, the arts, and religion. Includes photographs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313351297
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2009
  • Series: Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,304,704
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT J. SHARER is Shoemaker Professor in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator of the American Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Chronology of Maya Civilization

The Maya of Today and Yesterday

Understanding Maya Civilization

The Foundations of Maya Civilization

Early Maya Civilization

Middle Maya Civilization

Late Maya Civilization

Maya Economy

Maya Society

Maya Government

Maya Religion

Recording History: Writing and Calendars

Arts and Crafts

The Meaning of Maya Civilization

Bibliography

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    I am a high school sophomore and I read this for my research pro

    I am a high school sophomore and I read this for my research project. This book provided all the necessary information that I needed to 
    answer all of my questions. Sharer adds detail and depth which is helpful in understadning the material to someone who is new to 
    learning about the Mayans. I liked that it was very detailed and had the chapters split into smaller sections that focused on other smaller
    topics relating to the chapter. Although it was a very detailed book and answered all my qyestions, sometimes it was easy to get lost and
    confused. For example, he talks about the history of Mesopotamia and uses scientific vocabulary to explain some of the major 
    contrasts between the different regions in which the Mayans lived in. He also goes into detail about the genealogy of kings
    and how thie ruling effected the people. Although having more than enough detail was great, it was also sometimes overbearing due to
     the fact that he would write in great length. Some of the smaller sections in some chapters I felt could have been left out or had another
    chapter written instead. One example of this is the myths, Sharer is describing to us the religious beliefs and retells the story to us and
    summarizes them. Although he is summarizing them, and focuses on the popular ones, I think he could have taken that out and written
    another chapter about the myths instead of trying to fit them into another chapter. Overall it was a good read and I recommend this to
    anyone who wants to know a little more about the Mayans. 

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