When Christopher Columbus made landfall on the Caribbean islands he found tribes of people still firmly rooted in the Stone Age. Within decades, however, Spanish explorers had made contact with cultures in the Mesoamerican isthmus that lay beyond the Caribbean who possessed far greater technological prowess. Aztec and Maya civilizations were ancient societies with vast wealth and far-reaching influences, their cultures deriving from much earlier civilizations. In Historical Atlas of Ancient America their highly developed systems of religion, politics, economics and agriculture are described in vivid detail, along with those of their predecessors, the Olmec and Toltec. Specially commissioned maps and superb color photography of the temples, towns, and artifacts of these amazing empire builders bring the subject to vivid life.
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