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The Lost Chronicles Of The Maya Kings Hardcover – 30 Sep 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; First Printing edition (30 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297816993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297816997
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 3.5 x 12 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,055,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Drew presents an excellent account of how Mayanists have labored to construct both a chronology of Maya rulers and a history of their accomplishments as related through the inscriptions. The book is very readable, requires little previous knowledge, and has numerous line drawings and color and black-and-white photographs."--M. J. O'Brien, "Choice" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A fascinating history of the Maya - drawing on a wealth of recent archaeological discoveries - whose civilisation in the jungles of Central America was for almost a thousand years hidden from the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book about the Maya. It brings you right up to date with current knowledge and thinking, It balances archealogical knowledge with the de-cyphering by the epigraphers of the writtfrances@en history. I have travelled widely in this area, visited most of the major sites and read many books on the area, I can say this is the best and most thorough book I have read on the Maya. I love the way the author draws together the different sources and melds them together into this fasinating and scholarly work, at the same time it is highly readable book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bruno Girin on 29 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went to Meso-America last November and visited Tikal, Chichen-Itza and Tulum. I came back wanting to know more about the Maya and bought this book. David Drew is very clear and presents a complex subject very well. From the best known archaelogical sites to the ones off the beaten track, he explains how they fit and their importance in Maya history. Also very interesting are the chapters on "breaking the code" of Maya hieroglyphs, the calendrics and numbers, as well as the influence of the Spanish conquistadores. After reading this book, I just want to go back to the region, see sites I didn't see before, as well as re-visiting places I went to with a new insight.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By F. Cortiglioni on 25 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful: it's a pretty detailed overview of Maya history, with a wonderful section dedicated to the study of Maya hieroglyphs, and of the "history of Maya history", that is the chronicles of explorers and scholars who dedicated their lives to the study of this amazing civilization.
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By Steve on 16 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides an excellent overview of the Maya from pre-classic through to the post / terminal classic. It also provides detailed descriptions of the key Maya sites and the findings of the archaelogists who studied them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A new view of the Maya. 14 Jan. 2001
By Kevin T. McGuinness - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My compliments to the author. He did a good job with this book. Not since Michael Coe's "Breaking the Maya Code" have I found a book on the Maya so exciting to read and so easy to get through. David Drew doesn't bog you down in academic minutae.
I found two things in this book that were particularly fascinating. One, that the Maya were not a single pre-Columbian empire, as is so often portrayed, but rather a set of city-states involved in constantly shifting alliances with other political entities. It made the Maya seem that much more accessible and real as people.
The second item I found fascinating was the fact that the Maya city of Tayasal survived into the period of the Spanish Conquest, while the bulk of the Maya world, and its once proud city-state, had collapsed several hundred years earlier. I am curious to read more about this particular city in a book by Grant Jones.
I highly recommend this book to all those interested in the Maya. It is a good read and you don't need to be an expert on the Maya to enjoy it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very Good Summary of Maya Scholarship 9 Jun. 2001
By Craig Matteson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This very good book is NOT just a history of what we know about the Maya. It summarizes the saga of how these ancient cities were discovered and how our knowledge of them was developed - especially during the last century.
It also offers a very insightful review of what scholars have learned of the various Mayan cities, their rise and fall, and their relations with one another.
The author also takes us through a brief review of the conquest and all that was lost and how the Maya have survived as a people under extremely difficult circumstances.
And there are some very helpful pcitures and illustrations.
I am glad I own it, have read it, and am happy to recommend it to others as a one volume look at the broad scope of out understanding of this amazing culture.
25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
An appropriate title? 30 Dec. 1999
By Stephen D. Houston - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have perused this book, and been struck by two things: its more-or-less competent review of the data; and its approximate appropriation of a title for a work in press by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, who are frequently mentioned (and thanked) by the author of Lost Chronicles. For some years now specialists have eagerly awaited the Martin and Grube work. The use of a roughly similar title for the Drews book would seem to reflect, as far as I can tell, sharp practice and uncertain truth-in-advertising -- in fairness perhaps entirely beyond the control of Drews. I hope I am wrong, and that Drews' title existed long before this long-awaited, splendid effort by Martin and Grube. Until that book appears, readers will find a capable (but derivative) treatment of Maya history in The Lost Chronicles of the Maya Kings.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Total story of the Maya 3 Mar. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a general reader with an interest in the Maya, I found that this book delivered. It was well written and not difficult and didn't get bogged down in archaeological minutae. But it IS thorough. Not just about the so called "Lost Chronicles" but a total survey of our knowledge of the Maya, from their "discovery", the serpentine journey to understanding them, and what is known from their origin through to recent times. But he is clear to point out that in Classical times we are restricted often to the lives of rulers, and often only of a few cites that have lots of inscriptions and are well studied. He even agrees that it is time to return the study of Mayan culture to the Mayan descendants. One still gets a sense of sketchiness in the presentation, which only reveals that even with all that has been recently aquired is still not very much. Contains maps, many b&w illustrations and color plates. He could have used twice as many, these things are really beautiful.
Aside: One aspect of Maya scholarship is the destruction in the 16th century of several Maya bark scrolls by Friar Diego de Landa. Although he is only supposed to have burned a few dozen, Drew appears to be wringing his fists as he goes on, as if at each turn these irreplacable items - and he claims the loss of hundreds or thousands - would have answered all his questions. Well, maybe.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2 Books in 1 ? 28 Dec. 2007
By G. Kennedy - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you want a history of every Mayan archaeologist + the history of rivalry between major Mayan cities ... this is a good summary of the most recent books written on the subject as far as I can tell.
Recent translations of the Mayan stellae give new insights into the Mayan obsession with royal blood and their cities being constantly at war for power (obviously) and for the capture of rival royals from nearby cities for sacrifice due to the "power" of their royal blood.
This is a big departure from the widely held "tree hugger" image of the Mayans.
(At least the Mayans were selective ... the Aztecs, Toltecs etc didn't seem to care which school you went to !) ... so I guess the Mayans can still be considered more "sophisticated" than their neighbours ...
This book suffers from information overload and can be very heavy going. To be true to the book title it should have minimised the infinite detail on archaeologists and stuck to the Mayans ... I'd give this 1/2 of the book a 4.5
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