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Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya Hardcover – November 24, 2008

5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The story of a great ancient city that should not be missed.” (American Archaeology)

About the Author

David Stuart is Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of Texas, Austin.

George Stuart is founding president of the Center for Maya Research in North Carolina and the former Staff Archaeologist of the National Geographic Society.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1St Edition edition (November 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500051569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500051566
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. K. Moseley VINE VOICE on November 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wonderful wife recently purchased this book for me as a gift. I have an interest in Mayanism and have aquired a modest library on the subject. The Stuarts have brought a thorough knowledge of the ancient Mayan city of Palenque in a manner that is informative yet enjoyable to read. The special treatment of Palenque's most celebrated king, K'inich Janab Pakal,and his ambitious building projects are worth the purchase of the book alone. The authors are gracious in acknowledging those who have contibuted knowledge to the field of Mayanism; academic as well as the general public.
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Format: Hardcover
For anyone having an interest in Maya culture, or traveling to the ancient city of Palenque, this book is perhaps the most readable and well written books on the subject. It is scholarly without being pedantic -- very straightforward in presenting both the history of the ancient culture and of the explorers and archaeologists who later "rediscovered" the city. You can tell that this book is a labor of love from the father and son author team who reveal the brilliance of this ancient culture that is still not well understood. Beautifully drawn figures and photos are included throughout, but their numbering system and order is more than a bit confusing. As an "arm-chair archaeologist", I enjoyed this book very much and will enjoy having it at hand for future reference. I came away feeling I had learned much, and enjoyed even more. Highly recommended.
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In the mid-'70s, I traveled to Guatemala City for a convention addressing the latest breakthroughs in translating the Mayan glyphs. Things were just beginning to move in this area. I was lucky enough to meet the late-great Linda Schele and Peter Mattews, among others. David Stuart, co-author of this book, may have been at the convention, but if so, he was less than 10 years old and Linda was his mentor. I have a very clear recollection of sitting in a booth of the hotel bar observing with much fascination and awe as Linda and Peter shared their latest theories and breakthroughs. Needless to say, we all ended up drunk as "ahaws" ("lords") that night!

All this time later, one would be very hard-pressed to find better-informed authors on the Maya than George Stuart and his son, David. They are top experts in the field.

I really enjoyed this book as it provides a real concept of the history of this famous and beautiful site, bringing it and its rulers to life in a way I've not encountered elsewhere. The authors do go into the history of the rediscovery of the site, as some other reviewers have complained, but I found it all fascinating. It's astounding to realize just how much we now know about the dynastic rulers of this powerful city, including one female ruler, its battles with neighboring cities and about specific buildings. It's overwhelming to see how far our knowledge of the Maya has come in just the last 3 decades or so. And still only about 2% of the city has been carefully excavated!

This book strives to provide a lot of information without confusing the reader.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, this book is high quality. Not meant to be read once and discarded, you can tell no expense was spared in producing it, and it looks like it would last a lifetime of intensive reference use. The paper is very thick and has a great texture. The pictures are high quality and it's the right size for a normal bookshelf. I love my kindle, but there's no substitute for a book like this. If you're buying this book, you probably already know who David Stuart is so I won't waste any words reinforcing what an ultra-qualified author he is on this subject.
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My first trip to Palenque was in 1964..and I've been back over ten times sense. Oh my, how far we've come. If you are a casual one day tourist this may be difficult for you. On-the-other-hand, it may inspire you go dig deeper in which case you'll want to read anything by Linda Schele.
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Well written and comprehensive. An essential book for understanding the physical, social, cultural and political nature of Palenque. It explores both the visual beauty as well as the inner workings of this marvelous Maya city. Read it before you visit and then afterwards again.
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