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The fall of the ancient Maya : solving the mystery of the Maya collapse

Author: David L Webster
Publisher: London ; New York : Thames & Hudson, 2002.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Ancient Maya civilization thrived in the tropics of Central America for more than a thousand years and produced some of the world's finest architecture and art. Then it mysteriously vanished, leaving a landscape of ruins smothered by forests. The Classic Maya collapse is one of the great puzzles of history, ranking alongside the Fall of Rome as an enigma that has intrigued scholars for generations." "Drawing upon  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: David L Webster
ISBN: 0500051135 9780500051139
OCLC Number: 48753878
Description: 368 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. New dawn --
2. The Maya mystique --
3. Civilization and the Maya --
4. Mesoamerican civilization and the Maya --
5. The classic Maya, or what collapsed --
6. Imagining the collapse --
7. Explaining the collapse --
8. Many kingdoms, many fates --
9. Copan : the slow death of a Maya kingdom --
10. What happened to the classic Maya.
Responsibility: David Webster.
More information:

Abstract:

"Ancient Maya civilization thrived in the tropics of Central America for more than a thousand years and produced some of the world's finest architecture and art. Then it mysteriously vanished, leaving a landscape of ruins smothered by forests. The Classic Maya collapse is one of the great puzzles of history, ranking alongside the Fall of Rome as an enigma that has intrigued scholars for generations." "Drawing upon recent archaeological research and hieroglyphic decipherments, David Webster evaluates the theories and dispels the myths surrounding this contentious topic. Contrary to popular belief, not all Maya centers were abandoned, and Spanish explorers of the 16th century encountered still-vigorous Maya polities. Yet the Maya of the southern Lowlands did suffer a calamitous decline beginning in the late 8th century AD. Monuments were no longer carved, royal buildings ceased to be constructed or maintained and whole populations dwindled or simply moved away." "What brought about this collapse? Webster paints a picture of a brittle Late Classic world. Ambitious kings, scheming nobles and courtly extravagance are set against a backdrop of ever-more destructive wars and an exploding population that led to unsustainable stress on cultivable land. Without the means to intensify agricultural production, the system simply failed."--Jacket.

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schema:reviewBody""Ancient Maya civilization thrived in the tropics of Central America for more than a thousand years and produced some of the world's finest architecture and art. Then it mysteriously vanished, leaving a landscape of ruins smothered by forests. The Classic Maya collapse is one of the great puzzles of history, ranking alongside the Fall of Rome as an enigma that has intrigued scholars for generations." "Drawing upon recent archaeological research and hieroglyphic decipherments, David Webster evaluates the theories and dispels the myths surrounding this contentious topic. Contrary to popular belief, not all Maya centers were abandoned, and Spanish explorers of the 16th century encountered still-vigorous Maya polities. Yet the Maya of the southern Lowlands did suffer a calamitous decline beginning in the late 8th century AD. Monuments were no longer carved, royal buildings ceased to be constructed or maintained and whole populations dwindled or simply moved away." "What brought about this collapse? Webster paints a picture of a brittle Late Classic world. Ambitious kings, scheming nobles and courtly extravagance are set against a backdrop of ever-more destructive wars and an exploding population that led to unsustainable stress on cultivable land. Without the means to intensify agricultural production, the system simply failed."--Jacket."
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