Mesoamerica's Ancient Cities

by William M. Ferguson

Hardcover, 1990

Status

Available

Call number

F1219 .F35

Publication

Univ Pr of Colorado (1990), Edition: 1, 272 pages

Description

William Ferguson's classic photographic portrayal of the major pre-Columbian ruins of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras is now available from UNM Press 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 Richard E. W. Adams on regional states and empires in ancient Mesoamerica. Over a span of three thousand years between 1500 B.C. and A.D. 1500 great civilizations, including the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec, Zapotec, and Aztec, flourished, waned, and died in Mesoamerica. These indigenous cultures of Mexico and Central America are brought to life in Mesoamerica's Ancient Cities through stunning color photographs. The authors include the most recent research and most widely accepted theoretical perspectives on Mesoamerican civilizations. Ideal for the general reader as well as scholars of Mesoamerica, this volume makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of the Americas.… (more)

User reviews

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. 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.
… (more)

Language

Original language

English

ISBN

0870811738 / 9780870811739

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