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Pre-Columbian America by Kathleen Kuiper (Editor)
Publication Date: 2010-08-15
From the Mayan calendar To The Toltec architecture at Chichén Itzá, The bequests of ancient Mesoamerican civilizations have endured long after the societies that created them declined. The intellectual and cultural achievements of Pre-Columbian America rivaled those of ancient Rome and Egypt, and greatly enriched the landscape of present-day Mexico and Central America. The traditions, social organizations, languages, and ideas that shaped each of these cultures are examined in this fascinating volume.
1491 by Charles C. Mann
Publication Date: 2006-10-10
In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man's first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures by David Carrasco (Editor)
Publication Date: 2001-06-07
Presenting the most up-to-date coverage on our knowledge of this society,The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Culturesis the first comprehensive and comparative reference source to chronicle Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, and modern Mesoamerica. Written for a wide audience, it is an invaluable reference for interested lay persons, students, teachers, and scholars in such fields as art, archaeology, religious studies, anthropology, Latin American culture, and the history of the region. Organized alphabetically, the articles range from 500-word biographies to 7,000-word entries on geography and history to the legacy of the arts, writings, architecture, and religious rituals. An extensive network of cross-references, blind entries, and annotated bibliographies guide the reader to related entries within theEncyclopediaand provide the groundwork for further research.
Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin by John Edward Staller (Editor)
Publication Date: 2008-05-19
Pre-Columbian Andean and Mesoamerican cultures have inspired a special fascination among historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, as well as the general public. As two of the earliest known and studied civilizations, their origin and creation mythologies hold a special interest. The existing and Pre-Columbian cultures from these regions are particularly known for having a strong connection with the natural landscape, and weaving it into their mythologies. A landscape approach to archaeology in these areas is uniquely useful shedding insight into their cultural beliefs, practices, and values. The ways in which these cultures imbued their landscape with symbolic significance influenced the settlement of the population, the construction of monuments, as well as their rituals and practices.This edited volume combines research on Pre-Columbian cultures throughout Mesoamerica and South America, examining their constructed monuments and ritual practices. It explores the foundations of these cultures, through both the creation mythologies of ancient societies as well as the tangible results of those beliefs. It offers insight on specific case studies, combining evidence from the archaeological record with sacred texts and ethnohistoric accounts. The patterns developed throughout this work shed insight on the effect that perceived sacredness can have on the development of culture and society. This comprehensive and much-needed work will be of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists focused on Pre-Columbian studies, as well as those in the fields of cultural or religious studies with a broader geographic focus.
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