Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs / Edition 6

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"Masterly....The complexities of Mexico's ancient cultures are perceptively presented and interpreted."—Library Journal
Michael D. Coe's Mexico has long been recognized as the most readable and authoritative introduction to the region's ancient civilizations. This companion to his best-selling The Maya has now been completely revised by Professor Coe and Rex Koontz.
The sixth edition includes new developments in the birth of agriculture and writing, both of which were independently invented here. Fresh insights into the metropolis of Teotihuacan reveal a world of palaces and warrior cults brought down by social revolts. A spectacular new find in the center of the Aztec capital, just unearthed, gives us a privileged glimpse into the funerary rites of the most powerful monarch in North America at the time.

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Editorial Reviews

“A pioneering synthesis.”
Times Literary Supplement
“Compendious ...the first history that puts the subject in its full geographical and climatic context.”
Popular Archaeology
“Fascinating accessible, informed and extremely well illustrated introductory book.”
must for anyone interested in archaeology and history.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500287552
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 9/8/2008
  • Series: Ancient Peoples and Places Series
  • Edition description: Sixth Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 277,056
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael D. Coe is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University. His books include The Maya, Mexico, Breaking the Maya Code, Angkor and the Khmer Civilization, andReading the Maya Glyphs. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Rex Koontz teaches art history at the University of Houston and has written widely on ancient Mexican art, architecture, and aesthetics.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7
Chronological Table 9
1 Introduction 11
The geographic setting 12
Languages and peoples 16
Periods 18
2 Early Hunters 20
3 The Archaic Period 28
The Desert Culture in North America 28
The origins of Mexican cultivated plants 29
The importance of maize 30
Other cultigens 33
Caves and rockshelters of northeastern Mexico 34
Santa Marta rockshelter 35
The Tehuacan Valley 36
Other Archaic sites 39
The Archaic period and the origins of settled life 39
4 The Preclassic Period: Early Villagers 41
The Early Preclassic in Chiapas 43
Early Preclassic villagers in Oaxaca 45
The site of Tlatilco 46
Established villages of the Middle Preclassic 51
Late Preclassic cultures of the central highlands 52
The Mezcala puzzle 55
The shaft-tomb art of western Mexico 56
5 The Preclassic Period: Early Civilizations 59
Background of civilized life 59
The Olmec civilization 60
The San Lorenzo Olmec 66
El Manati 70
The Olmec of La Venta 70
Tres Zapotes and the Long Count calendar 74
The Olmecs beyond the heartland 77
Early Zapotec civilization 81
Izapan civilization 86
La Mojarra and the Isthmian script 87
6 The Classic Period 89
Rise of the great civilizations 89
The urban civilization of Teotihuacan 91
The Great Pyramid of Cholula 106
The Maya connection: Cacaxtla and Xochicalco 107
Cerro de las Mesas 113
The Classic Veracruz civilization 115
Remojadas potters 119
Classic Monte Alban 120
The Classic downfall 126
7 The Post-Classic Period: the Toltec State 129
A time of troubles 129
The northern barbarians 130
Tula and the Toltecs 131
Archaeological Tula 134
Tula and Chichen Itza 143
The 'Turquoise Road' 144
8 The Post-Classic Period: Rival States 149
Late Zapotec culture at Mitla 149
The Mixtecs 150
The Tarascan kingdom 154
The rise of the Aztec state 157
The consolidation of Aztec power 160
9 The Aztecs in 1519 163
The island city 163
Aztec society 167
The long-distance merchants 168
Becoming an Aztec 169
Marriage 170
The Triple Alliance and the Empire 171
The emperor and the palace 172
Food and agriculture 174
War and human sacrifice 175
Aztec religion 177
Aztec art and architecture 185
Aztec thought and literature 192
Epilogue 197
The Spanish Conquest 197
New Spain and the Colonial world 200
The 'ladinoization' of Mexico 202
Aftermath 202
Reigning Monarchs of the Aztec State 204
Text References 204
Further Reading 205
List of Illustrations 209
Index 212
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