The Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica
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The Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica : A Reader

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Twenty-three of the most influential essays by leading scholars are brought together in this Reader, revealing the rich variety of cultures and societies that existed in ancient Mesoamerica. Expert editorial introductions explain the context and significance of the contributions, and extensive bibliographies facilitate further research. This illustrated volume includes the results of the most up-to-date research on a wide range of social practices, cultures, and time periods. Among the subjects addressed are social, economic, and political organization, as well as religion and ideology. The readings are arranged thematically rather than by region in order to compare the main characteristics of Mesoamerican city and rural life, and to bring out both the unity and diversity of these ancient peoples.

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  • Paperback | 520 pages
  • 172 x 242 x 30mm | 898.11g
  • 07 Apr 2000
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Oxford
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0631211160
  • 9780631211167

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Author Information

Michael E. Smith is Professor of Anthropology, State University of New York at Albany. He is an archaeologist specializing in the study of the Aztecs of central Mexico, and has directed fieldwork projects at Aztec sites in the Mexican state of Morelos. He is the author of "The Aztecs" (Blackwell, 1996); co-author and co-editor of "Aztec Imperial Strategies" (with Frances Berdan et al., 1996) and co-editor of "Economies and Polities in the Aztec Realm" (with Mary G. Hodge, 1994). Marilyn A. Masson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Albany. She is a Mesoamerican archaeologist currently focusing on the Postclassic period of the Maya lowlands under the auspices of the Belize Postclassic Project, formed in 1996. She is co-editor of "The Belize Postclassic Project 1998: Investigations at Progresso Lagoon" (1999).

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Review quote

"This volume is one of a very few that deal with the whole array of civilizations in ancient Mexico and Central America. It will be a welcome companion for readers new to the astonishing achievements and daunting variety of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The editors have chosen well: the papers collected here highlight the common threads that bind Mesoamerican civilizations together, while portraying their individuality and reflecting the diversity of approaches the archaeologists bring to the task of interpreting them." John S. Henderson, Cornell University "Access to these important articles, as a set, will quickly prove indispensable for courses - and general reading - on Mesoamerican archaeology. The editors' introductions are equally valuable and thought-provoking as they situate the individual chapters, as well as the cross-cutting themes, in a sophisticated, highly readable review of current thinking." Wendy Ashmore, University of Pennsylvania

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Back cover copy

Twenty-three of the most influential essays by leading scholars are brought together in this "Reader," revealing the rich variety of cultures and societies that existed in ancient Mesoamerica. Expert editorial introductions explain the context and significance of the contributions, and extensive bibliographies facilitate further research. This illustrated volume includes the results of the most up-to-date research on a wide range of social practices, cultures, and time periods. Among the subjects addressed are social, economic, and political organization, as well as religion and ideology. The readings are arranged thematically rather than by region in order to compare the main characteristics of Mesoamerican city and rural life, and to bring out both the unity and diversity of these ancient peoples.

show more