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The Aztecs

Author: Richard F. Townsend
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 9780500277201
Size: 70.63 MB
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Today the Aztecs seem a remote, alien people. Warlike and bloodthirsty, they are best known as the practitioners of human sacrifice. Yet their creative achievements are impressive: within the space of a hundred years they established the largest empire in Mesoamerican history, and at Tenochtitlan built a vast, shimmering city in a lake, a Venice of the New World whose temple-pyramids, elegant plazas and thronging markets defied the descriptive powers of the conquistadors. Richard Townsend presents the first fully rounded portrait of the Aztecs, integrating military, economic and symbolic approaches to reconcile the apparently contradictory aspects of their culture. He begins with a dramatic narrative of the Spanish conquest and then charts the rise of the Aztecs from humble nomads to empire builders. He shows how war and human sacrifice did indeed act as instruments of terror, but also how their deeper significance lay in the Aztec belief that the shedding of human blood ensured fertility of the land and renewal of the seasons. Chapters on the ancient deities and festival calendar, the New Fire ceremony and sacred rain-mountains, as well as kingship rites, explore this all-pervading theme in Aztec society of physical and spiritual regeneration. The Aztecs ranges from the everyday life of farmers and priests, artisans and kings, to the sinister spying activities of Aztec traders; from the making of chocolate to battle tactics. Recent discoveries from archaeological excavations are interwoven with the latest results from studies of the monuments, Spanish records and illustrated codices to produce a fresh and definitive new history of a remarkable people.

The Aztecs

Author: Michael E. Smith
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118257197
Size: 20.65 MB
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The Aztecs brings to life one of the best-known indigenous civilizations of the Americas in a vivid, comprehensive account of the ancient Aztecs. A thorough examination of Aztec origins and civilization including religion, science, and thought Incorporates the latest archaeological excavations and research into explanations of the Spanish conquest and the continuity of Aztec culture in Central Mexico Expanded coverage includes key topics such as writing, music, royal tombs, and Aztec predictions of the end of the world

At Home With The Aztecs

Author: Michael Smith
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317328248
Size: 66.99 MB
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At Home with the Aztecs provides a fresh view of Aztec society, focusing on households and communities instead of kings, pyramids, and human sacrifice. This new approach offers an opportunity to humanize the Aztecs, moving past the popular stereotype of sacrificial maniacs to demonstrate that these were successful and prosperous communities. Michael Smith also engagingly describes the scientific, logistic and personal dimensions of archaeological fieldwork, drawing on decades of excavating experience and considering how his research was affected by his interaction with contemporary Mexican communities. Through first-hand accounts of the ways archaeologists interpret sites and artifacts, the book illuminates how the archaeological process can provide information about ancient families. Facilitating a richer understanding of the Aztec world, Smith’s research also redefines success, prosperity and resilience in ancient societies, making this book suitable not only for those interested in the Aztecs but in the examination of complex societies in general.

The Ancient Central Andes

Author: Jeffrey Quilter
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317935233
Size: 30.31 MB
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The Ancient Central Andes presents a general overview of the prehistoric peoples and cultures of the Central Andes, the region now encompassing most of Peru and significant parts of Ecuador, Bolivia, northern Chile, and northwestern Argentina. The book contextualizes past and modern scholarship and provides a balanced view of current research. Two opening chapters present the intellectual, political, and practical background and history of research in the Central Andes and the spatial, temporal, and formal dimensions of the study of its past. Chapters then proceed in chronological order from remote antiquity to the Spanish Conquest. A number of important themes run through the book, including: the tension between those scholars who wish to study Peruvian antiquity on a comparative basis and those who take historicist approaches; the concept of "Lo Andino," commonly used by many specialists that assumes long-term, unchanging patterns of culture some of which are claimed to persist to the present; and culture change related to severe environmental events. Consensus opinions on interpretations are highlighted as are disputes among scholars regarding interpretations of the past. The Ancient Central Andes provides an up-to-date, objective survey of the archaeology of the Central Andes that is much needed. Students and interested readers will benefit greatly from this introduction to a key period in South America’s past.

Aztecs On Stage

Author:
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806185317
Size: 53.81 MB
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Nahuatl drama, one of the most surprising results of the Catholic presence in colonial Mexico, merges medieval European religious theater with the language and performance traditions of the Aztec (Nahua) people of central Mexico. Franciscan missionaries, seeking effective tools for evangelization, fostered this new form of theater after observing the Nahuas’ enthusiasm for elaborate performances. The plays became a controversial component of native Christianity, allowing Nahua performers to present Christian discourse in ways that sometimes effected subtle changes in meaning. The Indians’ enthusiastic embrace of alphabetic writing enabled the use of scripts, but the genre was so unorthodox that Spanish censors prevented the plays’ publication. As a result, colonial Nahuatl drama survives only in scattered manuscripts, most of them anonymous, some of them passed down and recopied over generations. Aztecs on Stage presents accessible English translations of six of these seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Nahuatl plays. All are based on European dramatic traditions, such as the morality and passion plays; indigenous actors played the roles of saints, angels, devils—and even the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Louise M. Burkhart’s engaging introduction places the plays in historical context, while stage directions and annotations in the works provide insight into the Nahuas’ production practices, which often incorporated elaborate sets, props, and special effects including fireworks and music. The translations facilitate classroom readings and performances while retaining significant artistic features of the Nahuatl originals.

A War Of Witches

Author: Timothy Knab
Publisher: Westview Press
ISBN: 9780813333878
Size: 14.39 MB
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An overheard plot to do away with an unwanted son-in-law begins this mesmerizing and astonishing journey into the Aztec underworld—a world of magical dreams and mysterious healing, shadowed by a deadly justice.Aided by two local curanderos, or healers, American anthropologist Timothy Knab embarks on a spellbinding adventure of sacred Aztec rituals and mystical dream journeys into Talocan, the underworld of gods and lost souls. Along the way, he begins to understand the Aztec belief system and the art of healing, as well as the dark past of San Martín—infamous through Mexico for its brujos, or witches, and a mysterious “War of Witches” fifty years earlier that may never have ended.Capturing time and place as surely as a jeweler sets a stone, Knab chronicles his spiritual immersion into the contemporary Aztec culture and, ultimately, his remarkable transformation into an authentic curandero. Part murder mystery, part soaring supernatural dream tales—all informed by serious anthropological research— A War of Witches will keep you breathless and on the edge of your seat from the very first page to the explosive revelations in the final chapter.

Breaking The Maya Code Third Edition

Author: Michael D. Coe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 0500770611
Size: 46.22 MB
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The inside story of one of the great intellectual breakthroughs of our time—the first great decipherment of an ancient script—now revised and updated. In the past dozen years, Maya decipherment has made great strides, in part due to the Internet, which has made possible the truly international scope of hieroglyphic scholarship: glyphic experts can be found not only in North America, Mexico, Guatemala, and western Europe but also in Russia and the countries of eastern Europe. The third edition of this classic book takes up the thorny question of when and where the Maya script first appeared in the archaeological record, and describes efforts to decipher its meaning on the extremely early murals of San Bartolo. It includes iconographic and epigraphic investigations into how the Classic Maya perceived and recorded the human senses, a previously unknown realm of ancient Maya thought and perception. There is now compelling documentary and historical evidence bearing on the question of why and how the “breaking of the Maya code” was the achievement of Yuri V. Knorosov—a Soviet citizen totally isolated behind the Iron Curtain—and not of the leading Maya scholar of his day, Sir Eric Thompson. What does it take to make such a breakthrough, with a script of such complexity as the Maya? We now have some answers, as Michael Coe demonstrates here.

Mesoamerican Archaeology

Author: Julia A. Hendon
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN: 9780631230526
Size: 19.61 MB
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Offering an alternative to traditional textbooks, Mesoamerican Archaeology: Theory and Practice places the reader in the middle of contemporary debates by top archaeologists actively exploring the major prehispanic societies of Central America. Offers a comprehensive introduction to the archaeology of Mesoamerica by focusing on key time periods, sites, and the issues these times and places require us to confront. Examines key moments in the Mesoamerican historical tradition, from the earliest villages where Olmec art flourished, to the Aztec and Maya City-states that Spanish invaders described in the 16th century. Engages the chronological benchmarks of precolumbian social development in Mesoamerica, such as the transition to village life, emergence of political stratification, and formation of Mesoamerican urban centers. Includes an extensive introduction by the editors that situates contemporary Mesoamerican archaeology in the broader terms of the social politics of archaeology. For further resources to use with this book - including study questions, maps and photographs - visit the website at www.blackwellpublishing.com/BSGA/mesoam

The Fate Of Earthly Things

Author: Molly H. Bassett
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292762992
Size: 67.34 MB
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Following their first contact in 1519, accounts of Aztecs identifying Spaniards as gods proliferated. But what exactly did the Aztecs mean by a "god" (teotl), and how could human beings become gods or take on godlike properties? This sophisticated, interdisciplinary study analyzes three concepts that are foundational to Aztec religion—teotl (god), teixiptla (localized embodiment of a god), and tlaquimilolli (sacred bundles containing precious objects)—to shed new light on the Aztec understanding of how spiritual beings take on form and agency in the material world. In The Fate of Earthly Things, Molly Bassett draws on ethnographic fieldwork, linguistic analyses, visual culture, and ritual studies to explore what ritual practices such as human sacrifice and the manufacture of deity embodiments (including humans who became gods), material effigies, and sacred bundles meant to the Aztecs. She analyzes the Aztec belief that wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim during a sacred rite could transform a priest into an embodiment of a god or goddess, as well as how figurines and sacred bundles could become localized embodiments of gods. Without arguing for unbroken continuity between the Aztecs and modern speakers of Nahuatl, Bassett also describes contemporary rituals in which indigenous Mexicans who preserve costumbres (traditions) incorporate totiotzin (gods) made from paper into their daily lives. This research allows us to understand a religious imagination that found life in death and believed that deity embodiments became animate through the ritual binding of blood, skin, and bone.

Breaking The Maya Code Third Edition

Author: Michael D. Coe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 0500770611
Size: 55.73 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 348
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The inside story of one of the great intellectual breakthroughs of our time—the first great decipherment of an ancient script—now revised and updated. In the past dozen years, Maya decipherment has made great strides, in part due to the Internet, which has made possible the truly international scope of hieroglyphic scholarship: glyphic experts can be found not only in North America, Mexico, Guatemala, and western Europe but also in Russia and the countries of eastern Europe. The third edition of this classic book takes up the thorny question of when and where the Maya script first appeared in the archaeological record, and describes efforts to decipher its meaning on the extremely early murals of San Bartolo. It includes iconographic and epigraphic investigations into how the Classic Maya perceived and recorded the human senses, a previously unknown realm of ancient Maya thought and perception. There is now compelling documentary and historical evidence bearing on the question of why and how the “breaking of the Maya code” was the achievement of Yuri V. Knorosov—a Soviet citizen totally isolated behind the Iron Curtain—and not of the leading Maya scholar of his day, Sir Eric Thompson. What does it take to make such a breakthrough, with a script of such complexity as the Maya? We now have some answers, as Michael Coe demonstrates here.