Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World Paperback – July 7, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0195183634 ISBN-10: 0195183630
Buy used
$7.06
Buy new
$13.43
Used & new from other sellers Delivery options vary per offer
54 used & new from $3.16
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, July 7, 2005
"Please retry"
$13.43
$13.41 $3.16
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Hero Quick Promo
Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now
$13.43 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World + Metaphors We Live By
Price for both: $23.77

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This useful new source for readers interested in the Maya is arranged in 12 readable chapters covering topics such as archaeology, geography, government, cosmology, architecture, astronomy, and daily life. These chapters are subdivided into sections that are usually several pages in length; examples are "Agriculture," "Other Food Production," "Craft Production, " and "Trade" in the chapter "Economy, Industry, and Trade." The subdivisions are in turn divided into smaller sections that each address a specific topic, such as "Soil Conservation and Intensive Cultivation or "Salt Production." An extensive index gives access to all of the topical subdivisions, and there are cross-references within the essays. Each chapter includes a reading list. The volume also includes a chronological chart of Maya history, an extensive bibliography, black-and-white illustrations and photographs, and maps.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures: The Civilizations of Mexico and Central America (Oxford, 2001) [RBB S 1 01] and Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia (Garland, 2001) [RBB Mr 1 01] each covers a wider scope of geography and cultures and is organized alphabetically instead of thematically. If forced to choose only one reference source on ancient Mesoamerican cultures, Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia provides the best balance of comprehensive coverage and relatively low price ($150). The Handbook would be a useful addition to public and academic library collections that need more extensive coverage of the Maya. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"The authors of this book have done a masterful job in amassing information about Maya civilization from a wide variety of sources and from some reports that are so recent that they have not yet been published...In a field where new information emerges almost daily, and major discoveries still occur several times each year, the authors are impressively current in the information they provide...this book is an easy-to-read and most up-to-date account of ancient Maya civilization." -Peter Mathews --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195183630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195183634
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael West on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Whether you are a novice or expert on the subject, the author has captured the essence of Maya culture in this work. This book is a compilation by several experts of different Maya subjects i.e. architecture, agriculture, hieroglyphics etc. It would qualify as the textbook for a course on the Maya. Not only is the book easy reading but it is stocked full of facts that every student of the Maya should know.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Karl Janssen on April 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
The "Handbook to Life" series from Oxford University Press is an excellent collection of archaeology books. I own several of the volumes in the series, but this one on the ancient Maya world is the first that I've read from cover to cover. It's a great all-purpose resource on the Maya, synthesizing research from hundreds of sources. The book starts with a general summary of the history of the Maya, from prehistory to the present. Then it breaks the information down into categories, with chapters on such topics as warfare, society and government, architecture and building, and daily life. This volume is particularly strong in its treatment of the religion and belief systems of the Maya, explaining their overall world view, providing mini-"biographies" of major gods and goddesses, and giving summaries of important myths and legends, including a rather detailed synopsis of the Popol Vuh. An in-depth examination of the sculptural carvings at Palenque provides an example of how the Maya expressed their beliefs through their art. The chapter on arithmetic, astronomy, and the calendar is probably the best concise explanation of the Maya calendar system that I've ever read. The chapter on hieroglyphics provides an abbreviated version of the history of decipherment found in Michael Coe's book Breaking the Maya Code. Every aspect of Maya life is presented in this book, and it covers every strata of society. While a lot of books about the Maya cover the succession of kings and the religious rites of the high priests, The Handbook to Life also gives you an idea of what life was like for the foot soldier, the scribe, the traveling merchant, or the mother preparing food for her children.

The writing throughout is clear and accessible, and rich in fascinating detail.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mHanewald on October 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach an upper high school elective on the Ancient Maya and this book was the closest thing I could find to an age appropriate textbook. We use many other sources for the course, but for the daily reading and backbone, this is more accesible than the core texts and books on the Maya written by Sharer or Coe, which are a little too dense for the common person/non-anthropologist. I have also recommended this book to those touring the Mayan world - its organization is great and you can search for specific topics quite easily. It also gives general overviews about certain Mayan city-states and ruins.
Why not a 5 star? Well every teacher has to believe the holy grail of texts exists out there but has yet to be found.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Brandon on August 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book because it tended to explain the everyday lifestyle of an ancient people and civilization. There are still many mysteries surrounding this ancien culture, but many other previous mysteries seem to be answered here in a professional and well researched way through this book. I recommend it for an in-depth study of the Mayan culture.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Published 2002. I thoroughly enjoyed it...it's at my level or a bit beyond...reading Michael Coe's books are very difficult for me...more of a skim than a thorough reading. This one is pretty much thorough reading for me.

What I like about it is its organization...a special long, long section is starting at the earliest history and going up to the (Evolution of Maya Civilization).....placing the many many Mayan sites in place historically, importance, etc...then another section is every ??site listed alphabetically with a summary of where, when it's apex, and why it's unique or not. Then geography, Then a long debate, well done, of City-states, vs Regional States and Superpowers....

Many other sections...Architecture, economy, daily life, etc.

For me it's a wonderful synthesis of so many different readings...it puts the information for me into a more cohesive and rememberable and reasonable system. She often provides alternative current beliefs among the archaeologists and ethno-historians, etc...saying that more study is necessary, but so far they believe this or that.

Especially useful for me was the placement of when and what for the Maya sites.
As an example...the changing of all powerful divine leaders to later the elite classes having more say in government...fewer stalae, more wall paintings, etc. She even has a unit on TRAPS....how the Mayan used setting up a trap for their enemies...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an amateur Mayanist who is often disappointed in the texts of books on the Maya that I purchase. Seeing that Peter Mattews wrote the intro for this book was encouraging. This book is very informative and more up-to-date (2002) than many others on the subject. It provides the basics for readers who don't know much about the Maya, but the information is concise and to the point, never boring and overlong. There's a heck of a lot of info in this book, which covers just about all the basics from the history of the Maya, the architecture, the glyphic writing, their artwork, the various sites, what may have caused the collapse of the Classic Period and how the culture revived for the Postclassic Period. The authors discuss everyday life of the common people as well as the royalty and priests. Religion is discussed, along with the gods. Plus the authors demonstrate that the Maya interacted with other cultures from the American Southwest (turquoise has been found in Maya ruins) all the way into Nicaragua. This is a great reference book and an interesting read.

The only disappointing thing about the book is the photos. They are small and bxw. The line drawings are very well reproduced, however. It seems that one is often forced to choose between really good text and great photography. The price goes way up when a book is filled with beautiful color photos and the text is usually the standard same-old, same-old. The value here is in the condensed info in the text rather than in the photos.

This is a great reference book, especially good for finding info quickly and easily. Plus the very well written text is interesting and comprehensive.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World
This item: Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World
Price: $13.43
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?