Synopses & Reviews
Ancient Mexico was one of the great independent hearths of civilization. Out of a varied landscape grew some of the richest cultures of the early historic world - Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec. Standard histories tend to focus on the individual societies, but Jeremy Sabloff's popular study takes an original approach, emphasizing the unity of Mexican civilization. In a series of fascinating vignettes, Professor Sabloff describes what it would have been like to have lived during the heyday of Mexico's greatest cities. Through the eyes of astronomers and ballplayers, merchants and priests, we see the temples, palaces, and tombs of a civilization obsessed with ritual and death. But who built these cities and how do we know? Sabloff explains convincingly just why archaeologists believe in the indigenous origins of Mexican civilization. This updated edition includes the latest archaeological research on the ancient cities of Mexico: incorporates breakthroughs in the decipherment of the Maya script; and draws on fresh readings of Aztec ethnohistorical sources. Throughout the author reveals the new ideas and techniques revolutionizing archaeological fieldwork and shows how the latest evidence is being used to reconstruct a fuller picture of life in these ancient cities.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 214-218) and index.