Divine Kings of the Rainforest
Language: English
Layout: more than 700 illustrations, four-color throughout, hardcover with bellyband, ribbon
Pages: 480
Size: 26,8 x 31,2 cm/12,25 x 10,5 inches

Price: 29,95 €
29,95 £
49,99 $

ISBN: 978-3-8480-0034-0
Sunken cities in the jungle and towering temple pyramids reflect only a small portion of our knowledge about Mayan culture. This fascinating people achieved the landmarks of an advanced civilization — such as a highly developed writing system and densely populated cities, earning them a place among the greatest civilizations in the world. However, this period represents just one phase in the history of the Mayan culture, which extends over thousands of years. Our knowledge of Mayan life has increased dramatically in recent decades. As a result, specialists from a wide range of disciplines have contributed to this book in order to represent all of the latest research on the Maya. The contributions included in this magnificent volume range from the origins of Mayan culture all the way to modernity, giving insight into everyday life and religion as well as the artistic accomplishments and intellectualabilities of this important culture.

Table of Contents

Map of the Maya Region


Habitats and Early Horizons
Volcanoes and Jungle – a Richly Varied Habitat
Cacao – the Beverage of the Gods
The Origins of Maya Civilization – the Beginnings of Village Life
Obsidian – the Metal of the Maya
The First Cities – the Beginnings of Urbanization and State Formation in the Maya Lowlands
Jade – the Green Gold of the Maya
Maya Agriculture
Tortillas and Tamales – the Food of the Maize People and their Gods

The Birth of States
From Chiefdoms to Statehood in the Highlands of Guatemala
The Insignia of Power
Power in the West – the Maya and Teotihuacan

Hieroglyphs – the Gateway to History
Bark Paper Books
Astronomy and Mathematics
Solar Eclipses – Fearing the End of the World

Politics and Dynasty
The Dynastic History of the Maya
Marriage Diplomacy – Women at the Royal Court
Under a Deadly Star – Warfare among the Classic Maya
A Game of Life and Death – the Maya Ball Game

Architecture and Art
Unity in Space and Time – the Maya Architecture
The History of a Maya Settlement – Research Results from the Excavations at Xkipche
Maya Architecture at Tikal
Processions, Pilgrims, and Loadcarriers – the Ceremonial Roads
Understanding the Murals of Bonampak
Grave Robbers in the Jungle
The Art of Classic Vase Painting

Religious Beliefs
The Classic Maya Gods
Court Dwarfs – the Companions of Rulers and Envoys of the Underworld
Maya Creation Myths and Cosmography
Intoxication and Ecstacy
Uncovering the Dark Secrets of the Maya – the Archeology of Maya Caves
Jaina – the Island Necropolis
Death and Conceptions of the Soul

From the Classic to the Postclassic
Long Twilight or New Dawn? Transformations of Maya Civilization in the Puuc Region
…and then it was Sculpted, the Precious Stone – the Maya Stonemasons and Sculptors
The Dynamics of Maturing Statehood in Postclassic Maya Civilization
The Art of Weaving
The Martial Dynasties – the Postclassic in the Maya Highlands

The Colonial Era
The Spanish Conquest of Yucatan and Guatemala in the 16th and 17th Centuries
Kanek’ – the Last King of the Itzaj Maya
Between Conformity and Rebellion – the Maya Society in the Colonial Period (1546-1811)

The Search for Evidence – the Scientific Discovery of the Maya
Maya Cities – Lost, Excavated, and Conserved

The Maya in the Present
Maya Today – from Indios Deprived of Rights to the Maya Movement

Overview of Historical Sites
Selected Collections and Museums
Ruling Dynasties
Remarks on the Writing and Pronunciation of Mayan
Picture Acknowledgments

What the press says:

“A feast for the eyes and the understanding, this large volume is replete with hundreds of photos, maps, and texts on a broad spectrum of the Mayan cultures by twenty-six specialists in their fields. […] The essays are concise, offering material rich in depth and detail, yet easily accessible to the reader.”
Lavendar Magazine, August 24, 2012


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