books about the ancient
'Pre-Columbian Civilizations & Cultures'
of North, Central & South America
more featured books about 'Pre-Columbian Civilizations & Cultures' on pages 2 |
Below are a selection of books about 'Pre-Columbian Civilizations & Cultures' that brought great architectural structures, social organisation, and also 'human blood sacrifice' to the various region of North, Central and South America. These empires were decimated by the Spanish Conquistadors, Portuguese explorers, and other European 'empire-builders', and much detail of their various cultures has been lost forever. But researchers in many fields have managed to reconstruct a series of pictures of daily life in the various cities, towns and villages, and the list below reflects the many views that are currently held about these diverse peoples.
They are in no order of preference, and the book descriptions are used where reviews are not available to us. The similarities, and great differences, between interpretations, often of the same material, urban remains, and local oral traditions recorded by early explorers, make up a body of knowledge that continues to intrigue, facinate and surprise everyone that delves into the mysteries of the many ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of the Americas ...
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"Translations of ancient Aztec documents reveal their thoughts on the origin of the universe, the nature of God, and the significance of art. I recommend this book to be read among the first if anyone is trying to learn the true Anahuaca (Mexican and "Central American") history. The most important part in my opinion of this book is the theological aspects which Portilla explains, in which he at one point says that what Europeans interpreted as "Gods" are actually manifestations of one creator, Ometeotl."
"First publication of remarkable repainting of outstanding Mexican codex (priceless original is in Vatican Library), thought to have originated in the Cholula area, ca. a.d. 1400. Seventy-six large full-color plates show an astounding array of gods, kings, warriors, mythical creatures and abstract designs. A work of rare power and beauty now available in this inexpensive, high-quality edition. Introduction. This is a wonderful resouce for those interested in ancient Mexico. Full photographic facsimilies of these codices are hideously expensive, and really, most are not in great shape. After extensive research, we have here a great reproduction of what this important work looked like when it was "fresh off the presses." It is beautiful, and in comparison to Dover's similar Codex Nuttall, this work comes with a MUCH better introduction that explains more of the text, the context, and the ideology."
"Hieroglyphs and pictures reveal major events in the lives of the Mixtec kings during the tenth century. The Codex Nuttall is a graphical transcription of Mayan hieroglyph of uncomparable beauty and emotional impact. The original is exposed at the Peabody Museum; in the book is depicted with hi-fidelity colors and printed on quality white paper. It results very close to the original and better than photographic reproductions available. It is indispensable for all that works with design so as painters, architects, tattoonists.... But it is a powerful tool for who are interested to know about the magical simbolism of the Ancient Mexicans."
"The myths and beliefs of the great pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica have baffled and fascinated outsiders ever since the Spanish Conquest. This is a dictionary of Mesoamerican mythology and religion, which seeks to act as a guide to this labyrinthine symbolic world. Nearly 300 entries, from Tlaltecuhtli, the Aztec earth monster, to Venus, the Mesoamerican planet of danger, describe the main gods and symbols of the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Maya, Teotihuacanos, Mixtecs, Toltecs and Aztecs. Topics range from jaguar and jester gods to reptile eye and rubber, from creation accounts and sacred places to ritual practices such as blood-letting, confession, dance and pilgrimage. Two introductory essays provide succinct accounts of Mesoamerican history and religion, while a substantial bibliographical survey directs the reader to original sources and discussions."
"As one of the finest surviving examples of the art of Aztec manuscript painting, the Codex Telleriano-Remensis provides invaluable information about the core of Aztec culture. In this landmark publication, Eloise Quiñones Keber presents the first photographic color facsimile of the entire codex, accompanied by the most extensive commentary ever undertaken on its abundant images and Spanish annotations and the first English translation of its texts. Produced in sixteenth-century colonial Mexico, the codex consists of a ceremonial calendar of the "months" of the year, a divinatory almanac featuring the deities that determined the fates of the days, and a history of the Aztecs from their legendary migration in the twelfth century through the first decades of Spanish occupation."
"The convergence of Corts and Montezuma is the most emblematic event in the birth of what would come to be called "America." Landing on the Mexican coast on Good Friday, 1519, Hernn Corts felt himself the bearer of a divine burden to conquer and convert the first advanced civilization Europeans had yet encountered in the West. For Montezuma, leader of the Mexicans, April 21,1519 (known in their sophisticated astronomical system as 9 Wind Day) was the precise date of a dire prophesy: the return of Quetzalcoatl, a fearsome god predicted to arrive by ship, from the East, with light skin, a black beard, robed in black--exactly as Corts would. The ensuing drama is described by eminent historian Maurice Collis in a style that is equal parts story and scholarship."
"Dr. Randall C. Jimenez, a San Jose State University educator, and Richard B. Graeber, an engineering documentation specialist, have collaborated to bring the first Technical Manual for the Aztec Calendar ever produced. The book was created to address a lack of clear, concise information regarding this ancient native artifact and to correct inaccuracies as taught in history classes across the U.S. today. By using concise documentation techniques, over 240 sources were compressed into a 100-page book, which includes 150 technical drawings, 230 word native glossary, timeline and a 12-page bibliography. This unique book on the surface appears to be about the Sun Stone, but in reality is about of Native American history. Chapters include; the History of the Aztec Calendar, Native American Time-keeping, Keepers of Time, Founding of Tenochtitlan and the Legend of Quetzalcoatl. It is designed as an accessible authority on the Aztec Calendar and the people that had such a profound effect on the shaping of modern America."
"Richard Townsend's The Aztecs has established itself as the best introduction available to this ancient Mesoamerican culture. Beginning with a dramatic narrative of the Spanish conquest, the text then charts the rise of Aztec civilization from humble nomads to empire builders. Within a hundred years the Aztecs established the largest empire in Mesoamerican history, and at Tenochtitlan built a vast, shimmering city in a lake, a Venice of the New World. The revised edition features new illustrations of key archaeological sites, pictorial manuscripts, and major monuments. Significant text revisions reflect data from recent archaeological excavations and ethnohistoric studies, widening the picture of Aztec culture beyond the metropolitan capitals."
"In this updated edition of the classic THE BROKEN SPEARS, Leon-Portilla has included accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries. Those texts bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of an oral tradition that preserves the viewpoints of the vanquished instead of the victors. There are two sides to every story, and in history you usually only hear the victor's side. In standard Western-based histories of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, you are usually only told that Cortes and a few hundred valiant soldiers easily conquered the Aztec empire of several hundred thousand people. Another fallacy is that the Aztecs rolled over so easily because they thought the white men were gods returning from the sea. As can be seen in this book, this was true at first, but most of the Aztecs (except for the priests) quickly changed their opinion on the Spaniards when they saw their brutality and greed."