Michael D Coe The Maya (4th Edition)

ISBN 13: 9780500274552

The Maya (4th Edition)

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9780500274552: The Maya (4th Edition)
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"A clear and intelligent description of the development and organization of Maya civilization."—Natural History

The Maya has long been established as the best, most readable introduction to the New World's greatest ancient civilization. In these pages Professor Coe distills a lifetime's scholarship for the general reader and student. Since the publication of the sixth edition of The Maya, new sites have been uncovered and further excavations in old sites have proceeded at an unprecedented pace. Among the many new discoveries is the chance find of extraordinary murals dating to ca. AD 100 at San Bartolo in the Peten. New epigraphic, archaeological, and osteological research has thrown light on the identity of the "founding fathers" of such great sites as Tikal and Copan, and their close affiliation with Teotihuacan in central Mexico. The previously little known center of Ek' Balam in northeastern Yucatan has turned out to be a regional kingdom of major importance, with extraordinary stucco reliefs and a plethora of painted inscriptions. It has now become apparent that the birth of Maya civilization lies not in the Classic but during the Preclassic period, above all in the Mirador Basin of northern Guatemala, where the builders of gigantic ancient cities (interconnected by causeways) erected the world's largest pyramid as early as 200 BC. All of these finds suggest that we must rethink what we mean by "Classic." The seventh edition also presents new evidence for the use of wetlands by the Classic Maya, and fresh perspectives on the catastrophic demise of Classic civilization by the close of the ninth century. 175 illustrations, 17 in color

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About 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, and Reading the Maya Glyphs.

From Library Journal:

Because of the wealth of new archaeological data and breakthroughs in the translation of hieroglyphs, Coe's updating of his classic synthesis of Maya civilization provides a valuable service to both informed lay readers and specialists wishing to apprise themselves of the current state of understanding of this most intellectually sophisticated and aesthetically refined pre-Columbian culture. Although the vast majority of the text may be found in the prior edition, the work is transformed by significant interpolations and deletions and is augmented by a new section of color plates, a useful guide for travelers, and a listing of Maya rulers. As it now stands, this refreshed and renewed little masterpiece merits a place in collections serving students of ancient Mesoamerica. Continuing a tradition of massive exhibitions and concomitant exhibition catalogs, the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, has at last discovered the New World. This initial incursion wisely focuses on the most accessible of the great pre-Hispanic cultures, the Maya. In this daunting but unfocused potpourri, some 29 essayists broach nearly the full range of Maya historical, societal, intellectual, political, and artistic traditions with varying degrees of competence. As is common with collective efforts of this sort, one finds both a certain redundancy of elementary facts and a not infrequent inconsistency about the facts themselves. Crammed into the last hundred pages of the volume is the catalog of more than 500 well-illustrated but only perfunctorily documented and analyzed objects. Aside from its value as a remarkable gathering of some 1400 excellent color reproductions, this ill-balanced and ultimately superficial tome has little to recommend it.ARobert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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