Sunken cities in the jungle and towering temple pyramids reflect only a small portion of our knowledge about Mayan culture. This fascinating people achieved the landmarks of an advanced civilization― such as a highly developed writing system and densely populated cities― in the classical period (AD 300-600), earning them a place among the greatest civilizations in the world. However, this period represents just one phase in the history of the Mayan culture, which extends over thousands of years. Our knowledge of Mayan life has increased dramatically in recent decades. As a result, specialists from a wide range of disciplines have contributed to this book in order to represent all of the latest research on the Maya.The contributions included in this magnificent volume range from the origins of Mayan culture all the way to modernity, giving insight into everyday life and religion as well as the artistic accomplishments and intellectualabilities of this important culture.
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Nikolai Grube studied ancient American languages and cultures and ethnology at the University of Hamburg. He earned his doctorate in 1989 with a thesis on “The Development of Mayan Writing.” His publications primarily address the history of dynasties and the political structures and writing system of the Mayans.Review:
"A feast for the eyes and the understanding..."
Maya: Divine Kings of the Rain Forest
Ed. Nikolai Grube
A feast for the eyes and the understanding, this large volume is replete with hundreds of photos, maps, and texts on a broad spectrum of the Mayan cultures by twenty-six specialists in their fields. Presenting much new information on the Mayan people, their language, and their works, chapters include essays on "Habitats and Early Horizons," "Architecture and Art," "Religious Beliefs," "The Colonial Era," and "The Maya in the Present," among others. The essays are concise, offering material rich in depth and detail, yet easily accessible to the reader. The Appendix contains a glossary, an overview of historical sites, selected museums worldwide together with their contact information, a timeline, charts of the ruling dynasties with accompanying hieroglyphs, and remarks on the writing and pronunciation of Mayan.
Reviewed by Ethan Boatner, Lavendar Magazine, Aug 9, 2012
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