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The Mayan Prophecies : Unlocking the Secrets of a Lost Civilization Paperback – September, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Element Books Ltd; First Thus (paperback) edition (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852309067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852309060
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Andyrew on January 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Starting off I knew nothing of native Central Americans. This book has taught me a lot about the Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs, and Toltecs. If you have an interest in this subject, I say give the book a try.
The main focus of the book is a prophecy the Mayans made about a worldwide catastrophe that is supposed to come about in 2012, what their basis for this prediction is, and if there's any scientific knowledge to back this prediction up. You may not be a person into end of days predictions, but the book still offers a lot of knowledge about many different aspects of Central America. The book covers things such as how Central American knowledge and beliefs could be tied to the lost continent of Atlantis (why some people think Atlantis existed), how the Aztec and Mayan calendars work, what gods they worshiped, what events they celebrated and feared, their accurate astronomy, ties they could have to Europe, one of the reasons they may have declined, a possibility as to why the serpent is so prevalent in their culture, how the Central American rattlesnake cult could have come about, how sunspot cycles affected the Mayans, how and why sunspots are tied to the Mayan prophecy. Another aspect of the book I liked is the author's willingness to take a serious look a little known archeological theories presented by people that do not have a big name is the field.
The one annoying thing I found in this book is how the authors used this book to point out how some authorities refuse to believe them, or even listen to them. That certain museums and magazines may not be totally scientific and concern themselves only with mainstream ideas that are satisfying to the establishment. Another thing you have to keep in mind is that a lot of this book in theoretical, and thought the ideas may make sense, they may not be reality.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Chris Struble on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is about coincidences. The authors notice a similarity between certain large numbers in the Maya calendar cycle and their own astrological theories about sunspot cycles. The numbers don't match, but from this "coincidence" the authors conclude that the Maya warned of a cosmic disaster for the year 2012.

The book could have stopped there, but instead it digresses into a sort of personal log of the authors' visits to Mexico, then revisits old material on transatlantic contact, Atlantis mythology, Edgar Cayce, Velikovsky, and other nonsense. Some of the historical material about Mexico is interesting and well written, but is clearly taken from other sources.

Some of the claims are bizarre, such as that the crystal "skull of doom" was used as a magnifying glass in a fire ceremony. Or that the "loops" on the Palenque sarcophagus represent magnetic field lines on the sun, something the Maya couldn't possibly have known about.

The authors' contempt for those with other points of view is evident. The book derides Von Daniken, astrologists, and professional archaeologists all at the same time.

The sloppiness about numbers is annoying, especially since their entire case rests on numbers. The authors cite a "remarkable correlation" between the dates given for the great flood by Plato (9500 B.C), Cayce (10,500 B.C.), and the Maya (11,205 B.C.) These dates differ by over 1700 years, a variation of 15% relative to the present day. Considering that one of the authors claims to be an engineer and a scientist, this is inexcusable.

The Maya civilization is a fascinating and impressive one, and no doubt there is much wisdom we have yet to learn from them. You won't find it in this book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If anyone is interested in furthering their knowledge in the ancient Maya, this book cannot be ignored. Ripping apart past archaeological theories, Cotterel and Gilbert pave the way for a new way of explaining human history. The book makes the reader want to fly to Mexico as fast as possible, and dive into the mysterious sights and riddles of the Pre-Columbian civilizations. This book must be read...
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on September 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This well written, very readable book is the most compelling I have read on the mythology, religion and what is known of the history of the Maya. I'm not much into mathematics or arithmetic but found the ideas very interesting, especially as related to nature (the cross motif from the skin of the rattlesnake and the sun-spot cycles). Not everything here is new, Von Daniken already popularised some of these concepts two decades ago - but it is cohesively presented in the right context with a wealth of figures, maps, and the most beautiful colour plates. It makes a worthy contribution to the terrain that Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval etc, are bringing to light. Extensive appendices, a glossary, bibliography and index ensure this will remain a valuable reference work for years to come. As for 2012, I don't believe in scaremongering (many books claimed that Nostradamus predicted a world war for 1999) so I am content to believe that date will signal a change (improvement) in consciousness.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hardy on January 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
When seeing the title of the book for the first time, I expected something a little broader in focus than just the end of the present world age. As far as the prophecies go, everything seems to revolve around this "end of the world" scenario. Having said that, I found the book fascinating and the discriptions of the authors' travels of discovery interesting. Having come to this book via Graham Hancock's writings, the whole picture, I think, would be disturbing, at least.
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