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"The gold standard of introductory books on the ancient Maya."―ExpeditionThe Maya has long been established as the best, most readable introduction to the New World’s greatest ancient civilization. In these pages Michael D. Coe distills a lifetime’s scholarship for the general reader and student.
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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. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.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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