"Since the early 1970s, Linda Schele and Peter Mathews have done pioneering work in the decipherment of the hieroglyphs that cover the surfaces of Maya ruins. Schele and Mathews were pivotal in discovering the Maya use of these hieroglyphs to cover their public spaces with the story of their history and belief system; and over the past twenty-five years, the two authors have been at the center of the work to translate the language of these public spaces, work that has constituted one of the most exciting intellectual adventures of the century." "All of their work culminates in The Code of Kings, an extraordinary guided tour through the lost civilization of the Maya, using as a prism seven buildings renowned for their beauty and sacred power. The seven sites - three in present-day Mexico, three in Guatemala, and one in Honduras - contain all the elements the ancient Maya considered necessary to charge a building with religious and political meaning. They represent the range of the Maya experience." "The Code of Kings is for readers of every level of expertise. The text discusses each building in progressively greater detail, moving from general to specific, so that readers may choose the amount of information they desire. An in-depth but succinct introduction gives a marvelous overview of Maya history and culture, end notes provide the scholarly background to the authors' interpretations while adding more detailed information, and a time line and glossary of gods and supernaturals serve as quick reference tools."--Jacket.