Mesoamerica's Ancient Cities

by William M. Ferguson

Hardcover, 2001



Call number

F1219 .F35


University of New Mexico Press (2001), Edition: Revised, 274 pages


William Ferguson's classic photographic portrayal of the major pre-Columbian ruins of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras is now available in a completely revised edition. Magnificent aerial and ground photographs give both armchair and actual visitors unparalleled views of fifty-one ancient cities. The restored areas of each site and their interesting and exotic features are shown within each group of ruins. The authors have thoroughly revised the text for this new edition, and they have added over 30 new photographs and illustrations as well as a completely new chapter by R E W Adams on regional states and empires in ancient Mesoamerica.

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LibraryThing member keylawk
Arthur Rohn, with drawings and aerial and close photography by William Ferguson and John Royce, of the major pre-Columbian ruins of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras -- fifty-one ancient cities. Some of these are sites are shown restored.

In three thousand years between 1500 B.C. and A.D.
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1500 great civilizations emerged, flourished, and then died away: The Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec, and Zapotec. Includes the Aztec. The authors purport to include the most recent research and most widely accepted theoretical perspectives on Mesoamerican civilizations.

Unfortunately, they repeat the ironic accusation that the "arrogance and greed of the Aztecs made them ripe for overthrow by their Indian enemies led by Cortez and a handful of Spanish soldiers in the early 1500s". The accusation contradicts the fact that the Motecuhzoma was taken prisoner through the fraudulent claim that Cortez came as the god Quetzalcoatl, a deception thought up by La Malinche, who was fluent in Nahuatl. The authors omit the fact that Cortez himself regreted having destroyed "the most beautiful city in the world" -- using relentless canonnade and fire. The authors admit the Spaniards "dedicated themselves to the destruction of Mesoamerican civilizations because they considered it to be heathen" [12]. The priests and conquistadors systematically destroyed all the libraries, and removed the buildings stone by stone. There's the arrogance and greed.

While the Olmec is the acknowledged beginning of colored stone architecture, the authors do not seem to recognize in the wide lips, wide nose, kinky hair and helmet, the huge stone heads of African warriors.

Views of the corbeled arch, sea-going port facilities, fine humanist sculpture rivaling the finest in Asia and Greece, as well as the bar-dot numeration, calendars, glyphic writing, and elaborate clothing.
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Original language



0826328008 / 9780826328007



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