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Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World

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Overview


The ancient Mayan civilization of southern Mexico and northern Central America has long been described as "mysterious," even though scholars have been studying this culture for hundreds of years. Our view of the Maya has changed dramatically based on the various findings of these scholars; what were once thought of as "vacant ceremonial centers," inhabited by only a few calendar priests and used as places of ritual by the surrounding peasant farmers, have now been redefined as ancient thriving cities of thousands of Maya. Hierogliphic inscriptions, once thought to be astrological mumbo-jumbo, now read as names of historical individuals and the cities they ruled.
The Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World provides a comprehensive and accessible reference to the greatest and most mysterious of civilizations, hailed for its contributions to science, mathematics, and technology. The book focuses on recent groundbreaking discoveries while presenting the civilization's earlist beginnings to its conquest by the Spanish in the 16th Century. Each chapter is supplemented by an extensive bibliography as well as photographs. original line drawings, and maps. Different sections include civilization and archaeology, evolution, geography, society and government, astronomy and the calendar, funerary beliefs and customs, and many more,
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195183634
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,118,405
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn V. Foster is an independent writer and scholar. Peter Mathews is Professor of Archaeology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 Maya civilization and archaeology 1
2 Evolution of Maya civilization 15
3 Geography of the pre-Columbian Maya 89
4 Society and government 117
5 Warfare 141
6 Religion, cosmology, and art 157
7 Funerary beliefs and customs 201
8 Architecture and building 213
9 Arithmetic, astronomy, and the calendar 245
10 Written evidence 265
11 Economy, industry, and trade 305
12 Daily life 327
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