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Customers who bought this book think very highly of it. The author is a renowned scholar of the period. In this updated edition of the classic THE BROKEN SPEARS, Leon-Portilla has included accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries. Those texts bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of an oral tradition that preserves the viewpoints of the vanquished instead of the victors. There are very close ties between this work and the author's life. There was nothing else he could have written. His heart was spilling over with it. Chroniclers would write of the Peru campaigns, campaigns against Turkey, Flanders or Italy, of strangers fighting strangers. Díaz del Castillo wrote about his life and about the land where he placed it at risk countless times. That is what makes his work unique, superior to the writings of historians for the perfect spontaneity of his testimony. He is the unknown soldier, the sweating troops bearing their arms and spoils, walking alongside the chief's mount; through him, they were given a voice, immortality.
This book is a vivid and comprehensive account of the Aztecs, the best-known people of pre-Columbian America. It examines their origins, civilization, and the distinctive realms of their religion, science and thought. It describes the conquest of their empire by the Spanish, and their present-day survival in Central Mexico. It makes use of the results of the latest excavations, of all available historical documentation, and of the author's first-hand knowledge of Aztec sites and artifacts.
A fascinating history of food and the contribution made to world foods by the Indians of the Americas. Tomatoes, potatoes, corn and much more were introduced to the world from these continents.
Michael D. Coe's Mexico has long been recognized as the most readable and authoritative introduction to the region's ancient civilizations. This companion to his best-selling The Maya has now been completely revised and expanded for the fifth edition by Professor Coe and Rex Koontz. A new chapter covers the Classic period collapse and its aftermath, including the exploration of newly discovered cities. The history of the northern frontier of ancient Mexico receives a completely new treatment, with revised accounts of shaft tombs, the turquoise trade, and ancient Mexico's relation with the peoples of the Southwest United States. The artistry of the Toltec is revealed through a recently discovered shell and turquoise warrior costume, and what we know of the enigmatic relationship between Toltec Tula and Chichén Itzá is brought up to date. New interpretations of the symbolism of Teotihuacan and information on the great Mexican capital's relationship with the Maya are included, and there is additional material on Aztec village life on the eve of the Conquest. A section on touring Mexico has been added, which will make this book even more valuable as a companion on any visit to the rich archaeological wonders of Mexico.
Based on their enormously complex calendars that recorded cycles of many kinds, the Aztecs and other ancient Mesoamerican civilizations are generally believed to have had a cyclical, rather than linear, conception of time and history. This boldly revisionist book challenges that understanding. Ross Hassig offers convincing evidence that for the Aztecs time was predominantly linear, that it was manipulated by the state as a means of controlling a dispersed tribute empire, and that the Conquest cut off state control and severed the unity of the calendar, leaving only the lesser cycles. From these, he asserts, we have inadequately reconstructed the pre-Columbian calendar and so misunderstood the Aztec conception of time and history.

Hassig first presents the traditional explanation of the Aztec calendrical system and its ideological functions and then marshals contrary evidence to argue that the Aztec elite deliberately used calendars and timekeeping to achieve practical political ends. He further traces how the Conquest played out in the temporal realm as Spanish conceptions of time partially displaced the Aztec ones. His findings promise to revolutionize our understanding of how the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican societies conceived of time and history.

The ballgames of Mesoamerica were the world's first team sports. Competitive games of the Old World, such as the ancient Olympic games, stressed individual excellence rather than team participation. The Olmec, Mesoamerica's first great civilization, began playing rubber ballgames around 1800 BC on Mexico's Gulf Coast. While the games varied from region to region, they became firmly established as one of the defining features of Mesoamerican life, until their eventual prohibition by the Spanish in the sixteenth century. The games, which combined elements of modern basketball, football, and soccer, were great public spectacles in which art played a central role. They were the source of endless inspiration for Mesoamerican artists, who created miniature ballcourts packed with players and spectators, elaborately attired figurines of ballplayers, and an array of athletic equipment whose beauty and symbolic meaning provided more than physical protection from the rigors of the sport. The Sport of Life and Death is published on the occasion of an exhibition organized by the Mint Museum of Art. Drawing upon collections in the United States and Mexico, it is the most comprehensive work ever on the ancient ballgame, with essays contributed by the world's foremost authorities on Mesoamerican art and culture. We learn that the marvelous qualities of rubber, extracted from native American plants, led to the development of the games; that Olmec and Maya rulers played the ballgame as part of their ceremonial duties; that ballcourts were dynamic public spaces where great pageants were enacted; and that elaborate rituals of human sacrifice often concluded a great game. The myths and beliefs of the great pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica have baffled and fascinated outsiders ever since the Spanish Conquest. Yet, until now, no single-volume introduction has existed to act as a guide to this labyrinthine symbolic world. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya is the first-ever English-language dictionary of Mesoamerican mythology and religion. Nearly 300 entries, from accession to yoke, describe the main gods and symbols of the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Maya, Teotihuacanos, Mixtecs, Toltecs, and Aztecs. Topics range from jaguar and jester gods to reptile eye and rubber, from creation accounts and sacred places to ritual practices such as bloodletting, confession, dance, and pilgrimage. In addition, two introductory essays provide succinct accounts of Mesoamerican history and religion, while a substantial bibliographical survey directs the reader to original sources and recent discussions
During the 1970s the Great Temple of the Aztecs was excavated in Mexico City. This book briefly describes the excavation. However, the main part of the book is about the rise of the Aztecs and their influence in Mexico with the history of their conquest by the Spanish under Cortes.
This fascinating, richly illustrated book explores basic Precolumbian beliefs among ancient Mesoamerican peoples about life and death, body and soul. Drawing on linguistic, ethnographic, and iconographic sources, McKeever Furst argues that the Mexica turned not to mental or linguistic constructions for verifying ideas about the soul but to what they experienced through the senses. Examine the fascinating and often controversial details of the daily lives of the ancient Aztecs through this innovative study written from the perspective of the history of religions. The Aztec people come to life for students, teachers, and interested readers through the exploration of the ceremonial character of their social and symbolic imagination. Insights into the communities they created, the games they played, the education they received, the foods they harvested, and the songs they sang, as well as the sacrificial rituals they performed, enable the reader to gain a better understanding of this complicated culture.



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