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The World of the Ancient Maya [Paperback]

By John S. Henderson (Author)
Our Price $ 25.46  
Retail Value $ 29.95  
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Item Number 144771  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   329
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.58" Width: 8.5" Height: 0.84"
Weight:   2.22 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1997
Publisher   Cornell University Press
ISBN  0801482844  
EAN  9780801482847  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Main Selection of the Natural Science Book Club

From reviews of the first edition: "A superb panoramic view of the entire history and extent of Maya culture. . . . This book . . . could be taken as a model of its kind"--Art Book Review

"The best full-length, up-to-date overview of Maya archaeology available today."--Choice

Since it was first published in 1981, The World of the Ancient Maya has established itself as an extraordinarily accomplished--comprehensive, elegantly written, and concise--introduction to the rich Maya culture. In this edition, John S. Henderson has thoroughly revised the text and added a wealth of new photographs and drawings.

Henderson explores the entire Maya cultural tradition, from the earliest traces of settlement through the period of the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. The ancient Mayas were the only fully literate precolumbian people in the Americas, and Henderson incorporates deciphered Maya texts in his reconstruction of ancient Maya societies. Superb scientists, the Mayas developed a very sophisticated mathematics and an intricate and accurate calendar system. Theirs was one of the few complex societies to emerge in and to adapt successfully to a tropical forest environment. Their architecture, sculpture, and painting were sophisticated and compellingly beautiful.

Henderson's wide-ranging and judiciously balanced account treats diverse aspects of the Maya world, including religion and philosophy, the environments of the various Maya peoples, and their links with neighbors and relatives in the area. Throughout, he considers the interaction among Maya societies and stresses the importance of the cultural variations from region to region, as well as the common Maya heritage.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A great read for a student  Apr 22, 2010
I bought this to prepare for an excavation in Belize Valley as was required by the field school. I didn't know what to expect from it but after reading this textbook, I found it to be an excellent read for any aspiring archaeologist or for anyone who really wants to learn about the ancient Mayans in more of an in-depth level. Like the previous post said, it's not for people who are just merely curious but for someone who wants to really study the subject. There are A LOT of technical terms so that may tend to bore people. But I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to understand more about the Mayans and their history!
not for me  Mar 5, 2009
Tough to review this book since I really don't think I should have been reading it in the first place. Possibly what I say can allow others to decide for themselves if this book is worth reading.

What I mean, is that this book is not a casual history of Maya civilization. Basically if you're like me and you liked Apocalypto and you heard about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, then this book will not sate your curiousity. If you're an archaelogist, you may find this book a treasure trove. It's thick on the archealogy presumably because we don't have too many other resources to learn about the Mayans. I guess it's amazing what they 'learn' from pottery.

High point for me: learning about the Mayan calendar. Though the 2012 date is not explicitly mentioned, you learn enough about the calendar to see what 2012 actually does signify.

Low points: A lot of names. A lot. A lot of descriptions of artifacts (which I found boring, no offense). Not enough analysis (maybe there's not enough knowledge) about things like human sacrifices, Mayan science, Mayan number systems etc.

I learned the basics of Mayan history but could probably be done more concisely for my purposes.

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