Hidden World of the Aztec

( 2 )

Overview

A unique look at the Aztecs and the archaeologists who are determined to unearth their secrets. In 1521 the world of the Aztecs came to a sudden end when Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, destroyed their capital. The ruins of that city lie beneath the streets of modern-day Mexico City. Peter Lourie traveled to Mexico City to meet the renowned archaeologist Leonardo López Luján. With Dr. Luján as his guide, the author viewed the diggings at the Aztec Great Temple, and even met the God of Death in the ...

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Overview

A unique look at the Aztecs and the archaeologists who are determined to unearth their secrets. In 1521 the world of the Aztecs came to a sudden end when Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, destroyed their capital. The ruins of that city lie beneath the streets of modern-day Mexico City. Peter Lourie traveled to Mexico City to meet the renowned archaeologist Leonardo López Luján. With Dr. Luján as his guide, the author viewed the diggings at the Aztec Great Temple, and even met the God of Death in the basement of the temple's museum.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jennifer Rummel
Lourie gives readers a glimpse of Aztec life by means of archaeological finds. The ancient world of the Aztecs lies underneath the sinking Mexico City. With new construction sites, archeologists attempt to catch a glimpse of the lost city. Archeologists such as Leonardo Lopez Lujan help displace myths from fact with evidence found in the excavation sites. Lourie explains both the myths of the Aztecs and what the archaeological evidence means for historians. Readers receive a crash course on the process of excavating the pits so that they can better understand the outcome of the information gained by this lengthy ordeal. Beginning with Aztec quotes, chapters cover historical information on the Aztecs to the author's present-day tour of the archaeological sites and the gathering of new knowledge. Not only does this book honor ancient times, but it also relates to how the world still tries to understand the past and learn everything possible about the forgotten ways of former cultures. This book will be great for classroom use both on the subject of archeology and on the world of the Aztecs.
Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Part of the "Ancient Civilizations of the Americas" series, this edition is the author's first person account of his trip to Mexico City to visit archeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan, and witness the excavations of Aztec remains. Especially interesting for the budding archeologist, this account brings that career, and the process of excavating, close to the reader. In fact, while the author is visiting, a monolith is discovered under a busy street and the unearthing begins. The photographs are sharp and clear and labeled with the names of the various archeologists and students depicted as they dig, clean, or label their finds. Beautiful photos of Aztec drawings, sculptures, and ruins are juxtaposed with complementary photos of modern Mexico. Sidebars explain aspects of Aztec culture in even more detail than the text. Quotes from Aztec poets and a ruler open every chapter and reveal the rich, advanced culture that was destroyed so quickly by the Spanish invaders. A glossary and guides to pronunciation help familiarize readers with this fascinating civilization.
School Library Journal
G 3-6-This attractive book takes an objective look at the Aztecs from the perspective of archaeological digs at the Great Temple in modern-day Mexico City and at the Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan. Nine highly pictorial chapters cover Aztec and Toltec history and the excavations that expand understanding of these civilizations. Lourie also outlines the process of archaeology and the methods used to uncover and preserve artifacts. A photo of a statue of the God of Death, buried in concrete, does much to illustrate the care taken to free such works of art from the medium in which they are imprisoned. The writing style is clear, informative, and interesting. The text features numerous observations made by archaeologist Leonardo L-pez Luj n, which are illuminating, especially concerning the blood sacrifice aspect of Aztec religion-exaggerated, he feels, by the Spaniards to justify their conquest. Verses of Aztec poetry begin each chapter, presenting a more rounded look at a complex and sophisticated society. This sound volume can be used with more conventional titles, such as Elaine Landau's Exploring the World of the Aztecs with Elaine Landau (Enslow, 2005), and is especially good for viewing a culture as it is re-created through excavation.-Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest stop in his photographic tour of ancient American civilizations brings Lourie to excavations beneath the streets of both Mexico City and the pre-Aztec ruins of Teotihuacan. Prefacing each short chapter with a passage of usually rather valedictory Aztec poetry, he offers brief visitor's impressions while following archeologists into digs at the Great Temple and later, the Pyramid of the Moon. He fills in historical background with notes on Aztec society (not quite as blood-soaked, he suggests, as often portrayed) and an account of Cortes's catastrophic arrival. A generous array of big color photos range from pictures of modern cityscapes to huge preserved ancient structures, from vivid manuscript illustrations and stone carvings to engaging scenes of scientists engrossed in their careful work. Writing with contagious enthusiasm, the author will kindle in readers the same wonder he feels at the way clues to our shared past are being found in these places nearly every day. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590780695
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Lourie is the author of many books for young people, including Arctic Thaw: The People of the Whale in a Changing Climate and Hidden World of the Aztec. He lives in Weybridge, Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    When you pick up a book by author Peter Lourie, you'll realize two things right away. First, he loves history, and his love for the subject comes through in his writing. Secondly, Mr. Lourie doesn't just write about the past. He's a hands-on type of person, and that's clearly evident in HIDDEN WORLD OF THE AZTEC. <BR/><BR/>In 1512, the two-hundred year history of the Aztecs was brought to a close when Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes captured the capital city of Tenochtitlan. That ancient city, the hub of the Aztec culture, now lies buried beneath a larger, much more modern city--that of downtown Mexico City. <BR/><BR/>Mr. Lourie followed a team of archaeologists, led by Leonardo Lopez Lujan, as they conducted new excavations at both the Great Temple and the Pyramid of the Moon. The work done at the Great Temple was the first attempted in seven years. At the more ancient Pyramid of the Moon, located thirty miles north of Mexico City, a new opening was made at the top of the pyramid, and Mr. Lourie followed a team down into never-before explored tunnels. <BR/><BR/>HIDDEN WORLD OF THE AZTEC is filled with beautiful full-color photographs, maps of the ancient Aztec world, and photos of actual archaeological finds discovered during their time in Mexico City. This first-hand account of what the ancient Aztec culture was like is not to be missed, especially by those with a love of history.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    When you pick up a book by author Peter Lourie, you'll realize two things right away. First, he loves history, and his love for the subject comes through in his writing. Secondly, Mr. Lourie doesn't just write about the past. He's a hands-on type of person, and that's clearly evident in HIDDEN WORLD OF THE AZTEC. In 1512, the two-hundred year history of the Aztecs was brought to a close when Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes captured the capital city of Tenochtitlan. That ancient city, the hub of the Aztec culture, now lies buried beneath a larger, much more modern city--that of downtown Mexico City. Mr. Lourie followed a team of archaeologists, led by Leonardo Lopez Lujan, as they conducted new excavations at both the Great Temple and the Pyramid of the Moon. The work done at the Great Temple was the first attempted in seven years. At the more ancient Pyramid of the Moon, located thirty miles north of Mexico City, a new opening was made at the top of the pyramid, and Mr. Lourie followed a team down into never-before explored tunnels. HIDDEN WORLD OF THE AZTEC is filled with beautiful full-color photographs, maps of the ancient Aztec world, and photos of actual archaeological finds discovered during their time in Mexico City. This first-hand account of what the ancient Aztec culture was like is not to be missed, especially by those with a love of history. **Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka 'The Genius'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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