The Encyclopedia of Ancient Mesoamerica

by Margaret Bunson

Hardcover, 1996



Call number

F1219 .B932



Facts on File (1996), Edition: First Edition, 322 pages


""Mesoamerica" is a term used to define a culture area encompassing present-day Mexico and Central America. Characterized by similarities in agricultural development, urbanization and ceremonial practice, great civilizations rose in the region well before the arrival of the Europeans in the "New World." At once accessible - the Maya, for example, were fully literate and left behind a complete written record of their unique society - and mysterious - Maya civilization disappeared cataclysmically and inexplicably - the regions and cultures of Mesoamerica are endlessly fascinating." "Encyclopedia of Ancient Mesoamerica is the first A-to-Z guide to the people, places and events of the region, from the emergence of early cultures there at the end of the last ice age, c. 11,000 B.C., to the demise of the Aztec following the Spanish conquest in the 1500s, this survey includes the Olmec (progenitors of all subsequent Mesoamerican civilizations), the Zapotec (possibly the first writers of the New World) and the Teotihuacans (creators of the grandest of all Mesoamerican city-states), among others." "The encyclopedia contains both longer essays on topics such as art and architecture, codices, social life and festivals, gods and goddesses, the Mesoamerican ball game, the Maya calendar, funerary rites, the military, views of the underworld, and pyramids, as well as shorter entries on rulers of note, and such important sites as La Venta, home of one of the oldest pyramids and burial grounds; Teotihuacan, site of the Pyramid of the Sun and the Avenue of the Dead; and Uxmal, the architectural jewel of the Yucatan peninsula. In addition, the book includes a brief introduction, a general chronology and timelines of individual empires, a glossary of Mesoamerican terms and deities, and more than 100 black-and-white line drawings. Ideal for the student or general reader, Encyclopedia of Ancient Mesoamerica is a vivid portrait of the now-faded civilizations of Central America."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)


Original language



0816024022 / 9780816024025

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