Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Aztec & Maya: The Definitive Chronicle Of The Ancient Peoples Of Mexico & Central America - Including The Aztec, Maya, Olmec, Mixtec, Toltec & Zapotec


This definitive reference offers enthralling insights into the art and architecture, myths and legends, and everyday life of the people of Mexico and Central America.

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This definitive reference offers enthralling insights into the art and architecture, myths and legends, and everyday life of the people of Mexico and Central America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754817291
  • Publisher: Anness Publishing, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 6/25/2007
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 813,384
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction     6
History & Mythology     8
The Glory that was Mesoamerica     10
Uncovering the Secrets of the Past     14
Fragments of History     16
Aztec History and Mythology     18
Unlocking the Secrets of Maya Society     20
History     22
Timeline: A History of Mesoamerica     24
3,000 Years of Civilization     26
The Birth of the Olmec     28
The Zapotec and the Maya     30
Teotihuacan: City of the Gods     32
The Mixtecs and the Toltecs     34
The Rise of the Aztecs     36
The Coming of the Spaniards     40
Desert, Mountain, Lake & Jungle     44
Many Landscapes     46
Jungle Cities of the Maya     48
Sacred Mountains in the Jungle     50
Water: A Scarce Resource     52
City of Awe: Teotihuacan     54
'Water Mountain': Tenochtitlan     56
On the Edge: Copan and Jaina Island     58
Appeasing the Gods     60
Many Types of Blood Offering     62
Mesoamerican Divinities     64
One Above All Others: The Supreme God?     66
The Blood of Many     68
Communion with the Divine     70
Reaching for the Sky     72
Spirit Jaguars: Shamans     74
Reading the Future     76
Death and the Afterlife     78
Warfare & Military Life     80
The Flower Wars     82
Chain of Command: The Aztec Army     84
Into Battle     86
Running the Aztec Empire     88
Tribute and Trade     90
Campaigns of Moctezuma I     92
City-states in Constant Conflict     94
War Between Mayapan & Chichen Itza     96
The Maya Collapse     98
Royal Power, Law & Order     100
Structures of Power     102
The Power of Appearance     104
Coronation Spectacle     106
Sun King: The Glory of King Pacal     108
Moctezuma II in his Pomp     110
Wise Governance, Strict Punishment     112
The Maya Law Code     114
Clans and Power: Maya Social Groups     116
The Many Levels of Aztec Society     118
Past, Present & Future     120
Starting from Zero: Mathematics     122
Three into One      124
Counting the Days     126
Major Aztec Festivals     128
Divining the Future     130
Reading the Stars     132
Written Records     134
Royal Scribes and Codices     136
Mythology     138
Creation & the First Peoples     140
The Power in the Centre: Cosmology     142
The Making of the Earth     144
Order from Chaos: Maya Creation Stories     146
Both One and Two: Aztec Creation Stories     148
The Anger of the Gods     150
The Hero Twins and Seven Macaw     152
The Triumph of the Hero Twins     154
The People of Corn     156
Earth & Sky     158
Life Under the Four Suns     160
Dawn of the Fifth Sun     162
The Celestial Weaving Girl     164
Myths of the Night Sky     166
Many Faces of the Sun God     168
Bringers of Rain     170
Deluge: The Universal Flood     172
Tales of the Gods     174
A Crowded Pantheon     176
Lord of the Smoking Mirror     178
The Originator of War     180
Dark Challenger by Night     182
The Plumed Serpent     184
Quetzalcoatl and the Raft of Snakes     186
The Tribal War God     188
Hummingbird of the Left     190
Divine Creatures     192
Waters, Fertility & Harvest     194
The Sacrifice of Blood and Water     196
Ancient Lifegivers     198
Rain Sun and Water Sun     200
The Flayed Lord     202
Mother Earth and her Flowers     204
The Gods of Maize     206
The Gift of Pulque     208
How Maize was Tamed     210
Sex, Pregnancy and Birth     212
After Death     214
The Paradise of the Flower Goddess     216
The Bacabs and the Cosmic Tree     218
The Journey to Mictlan     220
Beyond the Water     222
The Hero Twins and the Underworld     224
Risen from the Underworld     226
Return to Xibalba     228
Xibalba Tamed     230
Quetzalcoatl and his Twin in Mictlan     232
Myths & History     234
Toltec Wanderings     236
The Golden Reign of Topiltzin     238
The Divine Prince     240
How the Toltecs Fell     242
The Origin of the Mexica     244
The Cactus and the Eagle     246
The Quiche Maya Seek a Home     248
Visions of Triumph and Downfall     250
An Empire Lost, An Empire Won     252
Art, Architecture & Society     254
Lost Civilizations     256
Discovering the Past     260
Wonders in the Jungle     262
Painstaking Excavations     264
Translating an Ancient Writing     266
The Mesoamerican World     268
Timeline: Art and Architecture of Mesoamerica     270
Land of Danger & Reward     272
Highland and Lowland     274
Sacred Heights     276
Life-giving Waters     278
Towering Trees, Rocky Sands     280
Life in the Wild     282
Fruits of the Earth     284
Creating a Sacred World     286
From Village to Metropolis     288
The Beginnings of Settled Life     290
Urban Ceremonial Centres     292
The Rise of the Great Cities     294
The Glory of Teotihuacan     296
Power Changes Hands      298
The Collapse of Social Order     300
The Triumph of the Toltecs     302
Land Raiders     304
The Mexica Forge an Empire     306
Infinite Riches     308
First Traders     310
A City of Merchants     312
Trading Over Great Distances     314
By Canoe and Paddle     316
Traders, Spies, Protectors     318
Markets Large and Small     320
The Great Market at Tlatelolco     322
A Network of Tribute     324
The Sacred Way     326
The World of Work     328
Raising Crops on Land and Water     330
Garden Experts     332
Fresh from the Wild     334
Skilled in Ancient Crafts     336
Masters of the Painted Word     338
A Soldier's Life     340
In the State's Service     342
Noble Servants of the Gods     344
Everyday Life     346
Life in the Home     348
The Matchmaker's Art     350
A Child is Born     352
The First Years     354
The Gift of the Maize God     356
Clothes and Hairstyles      358
Beating the Odds     360
The Beat of the Drum     362
Lyrics at the Feast     364
Sacred Culture     366
The Game of the Gods     368
Cycles of Time     370
Holy World, Sacred Sky     372
The Healing Arts     374
Sacred Theatre     376
The Round of Festivals     378
The Cult of Violence     380
Reverence for Ancestors     382
Where the Ancestors Go     384
Art & Architecture     386
Palaces, Temples & Sacred Centres     388
From Huts to Temples     390
Building Styles     392
A Love of Decoration: Yucatan     394
Hidden Meanings in Sacred Buildings     396
The Impact of Colour and Sound     398
Arenas for a Sacred Contest     400
Palatial Style of Maya Rulers     402
The Aztec Pattern of Elegance     404
The Magnificence of Moctezuma     406
Building the Cities     408
Sacred Towns: San Lorenzo and La Venta     410
City of the Zapotecs: Monte Alban     412
Capital of the Ball Game: El Tajin      413
The Place of the Gods: Teotihuacan     414
Towering Monuments: Tikal     416
Pacal's Glory: Palenque     418
City of the Jaguar Kings: Yaxchilan     420
The Elegant City: Copan     422
Pride of the Toltecs: Tollan     424
Twin Styles: Chichen Itza     425
Hill Forts: Cacaxtla, Xochicalco and Teotenango     426
Tarascan Stronghold: Tzintzuntzan     428
City of Priests: Mitla     429
Centre of the World: Tenochtitlan     430
Potters & Weavers     432
Millennia of Pottery     434
Figures of Clay     436
Many-coloured Scenes of Court Life     440
Pottery for Banquets and Temples     442
Tenochtitlan's Life-size Ceramic Figures     444
Basketwork, Mats and Furniture     445
Richly Decorated Robes     446
The Carver's Art     450
The King's Head: Olmec Monumental Carving     452
From Three to Two Dimensions: The First Stelae     454
Set In Stone: The Power of Maya Kings     456
The Work of Maya Stonemasons     458
Intricate Carving in Stucco     460
Men and Gods in Stone      462
Carving in Wood     464
Precious Work     466
An Imported Craft     468
Golden Ornaments     470
Work of the Goldsmiths     472
Bells and Repousse Discs     474
Faces of Gods and Kings     476
Shell and Precious Stone Decoration     478
Chipped and Carved Stones     480
Images, Symbols & Words     482
The Dating of Events     484
Reference Books for Priests     486
Glyphs and Images     490
Sacred Symbols     492
Scenes of Religious Life     494
The Bonampak Murals     496
Wall Paintings and Murals     498
Symbolism and Naturalism     500
Index     502
Acknowledgements     510
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