This lavishly illustrated volume enables readers to chronologically trace the cultural development of Mesoamerica. From the imposing monumental sculptures of the Olmecs in 1500 BC to the extraordinary development of the Mayan city states of the classical period to the militaristic fervor of the kingdom of Chichen Itza to the conquest of the Mayans by the Spanish armies in the 1500s, The Mayas examines the social and cultural influences of each major period in ancient Mayan history.An insightful exploration of the significant characteristics of each society and the factors leading to the collapse of each is balanced by an examination of the social and cultural reorganization that followed each chapter in Mayan history. Accompanying the text, full-color photographs bring to life the art, architecture, religious rituals, and recreational activities of each society, creating a well-rounded portrait of a legendary era in world history.
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