Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World by Lynn V. Foster

By Lynn V. Foster

Archaeological excavations in their ruined jungle towns and deciphering in their hieroglyphs have generated elevated curiosity within the oncemysterious Maya tradition. one of many Mesoamerican civilizations that flourished in Mexico and components of critical the US, the Maya have gotten more and more identified for his or her contributions to technology, arithmetic, expertise, and different points of existence. The guide to lifestyles within the historic Maya international varieties via contemporary groundbreaking discoveries to supply an available thematic presentation of the most recent learn on all features of Maya civilization, from its earliest beginnings to the Spanish conquest within the 16th century. that includes a preface written through Peter Mathews, an influential Maya student and best professional within the decoding of Maya hieroglyphs, this quantity profiles the standard workouts of the Maya with in-depth insurance of society, struggle, faith, structure, astronomy, economic system, writing, and everyday life. The hugely available structure makes guide to existence within the historic Maya international a useful reference resource for archaeologists, scholars, historians, and normal readers alike.

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La Venta had an estimated population of 18,000, Michael Edwards) a veritable metropolis for this period in world history, not simply for formative Mesoamerican development. 6 square kilometers (a half square mile) in size and included massive building complexes—some faced with stone—and monolithic sculptures—some weighing 2 tons. An irrigation H A N D B O O K T O L I F E I N T H E A N C I E N T M AYA W O R L D 26 system with a dam and stone canal (c. ) is the earliest known for Mesoamerica. ety was increasingly complex and, based on items found in burials, stratified into several different classes.

Kaminaljuyú in the Valley of Guatemala, for example, could control nearby obsidian sources, but it was also in an enviable position to command trade between the Caribbean and the Pacific coast through the river routes in the Motagua Valley, and through the highland pass down to the Pacific. Cacao, obsidian, and jade CHALCHUAPA Although numerous sites on the Pacific slopes exhibited increasing wealth and social complexity, few are currently known to have constructed massive structures by this time.

This latter sculptural tradition ended with the Preclassic Period. It is the stelae and altars, hieroglyphic writing on public monuments, and a curvilinear, narrative art style that are considered among the most salient features of Classic Period Maya civilization. The fact that these features evolved in the southern area is particularly interesting because they ceased being produced there in the Classic Period, just as they were being embellished in the lowlands. For this reason, the southern area is often considered atypical and “peripheral” to Maya civilization, Mythological Scenes Many Izapan-style stelae depict mythological scenes in which deities enact events that led to the creation of the Maya world.

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