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The Maya

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The definitive history of the Maya, fully updated with the latest archaeological studies and featuring full-color illustrations.

The Maya has long been established as the best, most readable introduction to the ancient Maya by experts Michael D. Coe and Stephen Houston. In this new edition, this classic has been updated by distilling the latest scholarship for the general reader and student.

This edition incorporates the most recent archaeological and epigraphic findings, which continue to proceed at a fast pace, along with full-color illustrations. The new material includes evidence of the earliest human occupants of the Maya region and the beginnings of agriculture and settled life; analysis from lidar on swampy areas, such as Usumacinta, that show enormous rectangle earthworks, including Aguada Fe´nix, dating from 1050 to 750 BCE; and recent advances in decoding Maya writing and imagery. This revised edition also expands information on the roles of women, courtiers, and outsiders; covers novel research about Maya cities, including research into water quality, marketplaces, fortifications, and integrated road systems; and includes coverage of more recent Maya, including their displacement and mistreatment, along with growing affirmations of their cultural identity and legal rights.

The Maya highlights the vitality of current scholarship about this brilliant culture.

ISBN-13: 9780500295144

Media Type: Paperback(Tenth)

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Publication Date: 11-29-2022

Pages: 320

Product Dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Michael D. Coe (1929– 2019) was Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University and Curator Emeritus for the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University. His books include The Maya, Mexico, and Breaking the Maya Code. Stephen Houston is Dupee Family Professor of Social Sciences at Brown University. His most recent book is The Gifted Passage: Young Men in Classic Maya Art and Text.

Table of Contents

Preface 6

Chronological Table 9

1 Introduction 10

The Setting 13

Natural Resources 20

Areas 22

Periods 22

Societies and Languages 25

Climate Change and Its Cultural Impact 30

2 The Earliest Maya 32

The First People 32

Archaic Collectors and Cultivators 38

Early Preclassic Villages 40

The Middle Preclassic Expansion 43

Preclassic Kaminaljuyu 48

The Maya Lowlands 50

3 The Rise of Maya Society 54

The Birth of the Calendar 56

Izapa and the Pacific Coast 61

The Hero Twins and the Creation of the World 64

Kaminaljuyu and the Maya Highlands 66

The Peten and the Maya Lowlands 73

The Mirador Region 77

San Bartolo 81

From Preclassic to Classic in the Maya Lowlands 84

4 Classic Splendor: The Early Period 86

Defining the Early Classic 91

Teotihuacan: Military Giant 93

The Esperanza Culture 97

Cerén: The Pompeii of the Americas? 100

The Early Classic in the Central Area 100

Copan in the Early Classic 112

The Northern Area 114

5 Classic Splendor: The Late Period 118

Classic Sites in the Central Area 121

Copan and Quirigua 127

Tikal 132

Calakmul 137

Yaxchilan, Piedras Negras, and Bonampak 141

The Petexbatun 146

Palenque 146

Comalcalco and Tonina 157

Classic Sites in the Northern Area: Rio Bec, Chenes, and Coba 158

Imagery of the Late Classic 160

6 Maya Thought and Culture 176

Being Religious 180

Ordering the Universe 182

Gods and Spirits 190

Numbers and the Calendar 198

The Sun and the Moon 201

The Celestial Wanderers and the Stars 202

The Nature of Maya Writing 203

History Graven in Stone 210

The Great Game 213

A Possessed World 216

7 The Terminal Classic 219

The Great Collapse 219

Ceibal and the Putun Maya 222

Puuc Sites in the Northern Area 225

Ek Balam 230

The Terminal Classic and the Toltecs at Chichen Itza 232

The Cotzumalhuapa Problem 248

The End of an Era 251

8 The Postclassic 252

The Itza and the City of Mayapan 253

The Independent States of Yucatan 258

The Central Area in the Postclassic 263

Mexican Dynasties in the Southern Area 264

The Spanish Conquest 266

9 Maya Life on the Eve of the Conquest 269

The Farm and the Chase 269

Industry and Commerce 272

The Life Cycle 273

Society and Politics 274

10 The Enduring Maya 277

The New Spanish Order 279

The Highland Maya: Yesterday and Today 281

The Tsotsil Maya of Zinacantan 286

The Yucatec Maya 288

The Maya of Chan Kom 288

The Lacandon 290

Resistance and Survival 292

The Great Terror 293

The Maya Future 294

Visiting the Maya Area 296

Further Reading 303

Sources of Illustrations 310

Index 312