- Paperback: 174 pages
- Publisher: Tlacaelel Press (June 21, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982682603
- ISBN-13: 978-0982682609
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,855,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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2012 Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya Paperback – June 21, 2010
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More About the Author
Professor of Art History, Southwestern College
Dr. Van Stone received his undergraduate degree (Oxy '73) in Physics and worked in the gamma-ray astronomy laboratory at the University of New Hampshire for four years, until lured away to self-employment as a calligrapher and carver. In the world of calligraphy and type design, he established himself as an expert in paleography and the evolution of written forms, teaching and lecturing widely on the subject for the next twenty years.
A lifelong autodidact, he constantly availed himself of opportunities to study in the reading rooms and storerooms of libraries and museums great and small throughout the world. A stint as a clay-animator at Will Vinton Studios and study with netsuke carver Saito Bishu Sensei in Kawaguchi, Japan focused his skills as a sculptor, along with his understanding of the cultures of animation, filmmaking, and Japan. A Guggenheim Fellowship took him around the world, studying and photographing manuscripts and inscriptions of many nations, from Medieval Europe and the Islamic world, to Southeast Asia and Japan, to Central America.
Although conversant in all these calligraphic traditions, he chose to focus on the most-complex and least-well-understood script, Maya Hieroglyphs, and entered the University of Texas graduate school under the reknowned Linda Schele in 1994. He received his MA in 1996 and his Ph.D. in 2005. During this time, he co-authored "Reading the Maya Glyphs" with eminent archaeologist Michael Coe; it is the standard introduction to the topic.
He is now Professor of Art History at Southwestern College, with a new book, "2012 - Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya" published in 2010. He considers his dual background in science and art essential to his unique understanding of Maya calligraphy, and of the development of all writing systems as visual art.
Top Customer Reviews
Your parents must be very proud of you and your work.
This book is comprehensive, accessible, and filled with historical information about what the ancient Maya were REALLY like. For example, many things people might call "Mayan" are really Aztec. Sensational accounts of blood sacrifice seem to ignore this distinction: Aztec blood sacrifices were typically killings, while Mayan ones typically were not unto death, but were bloodletting from their own royalty. If our political leaders had to let their own blood to pacify angry gods, I suspect priestly prophecies that the gods are angry would be somewhat rare. Other than this the Mayans were a lot like us.
Their seeming obsession with time stemmed from the accuracy of their astronomical observations. About the same time that Europeans discovered the precession of the equinoxes, also with "eyeball" astronomy only, the Mayans did, but they also did something about it: They created a calendar that used the 21,000-year great cycle as one more temporal platform on which to build a mythology. Then they went a step further, imagining even longer cycles of time, in the millions of years. They "discovered" deep time long before our Geologists figured out that fossils had to be millions of years old. But when your basic Cycle is about 21,000 years long, a cycle around 5,000 years is just one quarter of that, and the date 188.8.131.52.0. marks the beginning of the next such cycle, and also the next 21,000 year cycle (I am using very approximate numbers here. The book's records are of course more precise).Read more ›
Why, you may ask? Many years ago when I was learning photogrpahy, I photographed the key piece of the Tortuguero Monument that has created so much speculation and apprehension world wide. The piece was in an art gallery in Los Angeles, which no longer exists - all the owners are now dead and all I have heard was a rumour that this last key stone fragment may have been sold to someone in the Boston area. A speculative guess is it now serves as a door stop in someones grandparent's home gathering dust. Where the piece is today is a mystery to Mark and myself.
What Mark has written is a highly educational book that you can read at your leisure - start - stop if you want - and think. He was a student of one of the most repected authorities in the field of Maya studies, Dr. Micahel D. Coe, of Yale University, and a friend of many Mayanists I know. If you think what Mark is writing is dense, you have no idea how long he had to take to make it simple that many could understand and comprehend.
There is more that will come out on this issue, but use caution to the prople who predict the end. Gee, wait a minute now, aren't we now in the 21st century despite all, especially ourselves...???
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative book. Great conversation piece for your coffee table !!! Get a copy today ! You will love itPublished on January 22, 2013 by Dee Dee
This excellent book introduces the reader to the complex and fascinating world of Maya hieroglyphs , and Maya astronomy. Read morePublished on May 3, 2012 by Temoui
Southwestern College Professor Mark Van Stone has produced a beautiful and informative book on the prophecies of the Maya. Read morePublished on December 16, 2010 by Southwestern Prof
Being a Maya Newbie, I had no idea of the delightful surprise awaiting me in this book. It was my first introduction to the Maya and it also guided me to a better understanding of... Read morePublished on November 30, 2010 by Maya Newbie