The Maya :Life, Myth and Art

Timothy Laughton

Published by Fairmount Books Ltd Remainders, 1998
ISBN 10: 1900131811 / ISBN 13: 9781900131810
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Synopsis: "The Maya" moves deftly from theme to theme to present a fresh appraisal of the cultural and artistic legacy of the Maya, most spectacularly seen at the great temple complexes. From monumental architecture to intricate stone carvings to breathtakingly vivid wall paintings, this lavishly illustrated volume features over 200 images in full color.

Review: The 1990s have been a period of explosive growth in our knowledge of the ancient Maya people of Central America; as the region grows in population and forests are cleared for fields and towns, more and more Mayan ruins are being found. Timothy Laughton, an English art historian, draws on recent fieldwork to give us this richly illustrated, inviting introduction to Mayan prehistory, which is especially strong on what is reliably known about the culture's beliefs and religious practices. Organized as a series of brief essays on matters like trade, astronomy, timekeeping, and architecture, Laughton's book examines some long-standing curiosities: Why, for instance, did the Maya people, as politically and militarily well organized as they were, never forge a single empire to rival that of the neighboring Aztecs? Why did the so-called classic Maya civilization collapse when there is no discernible reason for its having done so--no invaders, no plague, no famine? Laughton hazards a few guesses, but he is mostly content to let mysteries remain where the facts do not immediately offer an explanation. Geared to general readers, his book will also be useful to beginning students in Mesoamerican archaeology and cultural history. --Gregory McNamee

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Title: The Maya :Life, Myth and Art
Publisher: Fairmount Books Ltd Remainders
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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