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Ancient Mexico & Central America: Archaeology and Culture History (Second Edition) Second Edition Edition

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0500287149
ISBN-10: 0500287147
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Toby Evans is Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University and senior editor (with David Webster) of Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Second Edition edition (April 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500287147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500287149
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cody on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm currently using this textbook for an anthropology class. I consider myself a dedicated, hardworking student and am very talented at learning anything based in history, anthropology, and any other study concerning human nature. But this textbook is incredibly difficult to follow if you pay any attention to detail. Here's a random paragraph I just read:

"All over the highlands, pottery-using farmers established villages. Tehuacan Valley's Ajalpan phase, which followed upon the poorly understood initial ceramic Purron phase, showed evidence of a strong dependence upon domesticated food. In the Mixteca Alta region, Early-Cruz phase (1500-1200 BC) settlements were established at Etlatongo and Yucuita, sites that became important in later phases. Archaeological surveys in the Nochixtlan Valley and Tamazulapan Valley revealed a widespread pattern of small farming settlements, with simple buff-colored pottery."

This is from Chapter 4. What did I just read?

As another reviewer said, it seems like no one gave feedback on this textbook because only a Mesoamerican anthropologist could understand what is going on here. If this textbook has to tell the reader that maize is native to the Americas, it's clearly intended for newcomers. And a newcomer cannot keep track of the thousands of ultra-specific words and phrases that are dropped sparingly and with little context.

If you are stuck with this book, you'll learn that scanning is equivalent to focused reading. Think light and strain to focus on the biggest picture. Read only one or two sentences per paragraph. Otherwise, you'll drown in the vast ocean of jargon that is this miserable tome.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Medrzycki on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
With one look at this book its easy to say it was written in a textbook fashion for high school or maybe introductory college, one might assume the depth of the information discussed is only an overview or an introduction. This is deceiving. The second edition of this wonderful book is packed with clear and crisp illustrations, 426 to be exact, and covers central American culture from Mesoamerica to Motecuzoma in detail. At nearly 600 pages this is a behemoth read with tiny side notes and explanations woven into the tightly knit text that fits neatly into 5 separate sections. I would recommend this book for anyone into central American studies and would think it makes a great course textbook for upper college instructors.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wwerdnaa on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We used this in an Anthro class as a textbook, It was horrible. Information is so extremely scattered around the book finding specific information about a particular point or topic is almost impossible. The class would have been so much better had this book been more organized.

I thought I was alone in this until one day before class a group of about 6 of us were talking about the book; everybody had the same problem! I don't know how many publishers get student feedback about textbooks but I bet this one had absolutely zero feedback from any student!

However the book is very "pretty," it is full of pretty pictures and glossy pages! I love the look of the this book! It is very good looking and has tons of pictures! Believe me it is beautiful! Just look at the cover, you will not be disappointed with the pictures inside of this thing.

If you don't have to have this for a class I would have to say that it is a very confusing place to start to look for straight forward information about Mesoamerica.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ROb on February 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had this as an assigned textbook for my class. It is a nice quality book with nice images. As for the reading lets just say I didn't read it that much.
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