Top critical review
95 people found this helpful
scholarly but difficult to wade through
on January 13, 1998
I would recommend this book for people who are planning to visit Mayan sites such as Chichen Itza or Tikal, and would like to get a scholarly, authoritative overview of current scientific knowledge. It is not, however, a page turner. The writing style is dry, and a most of the book consists of lengthy lists and descriptions of buildings and artifacts discovered at every major Mayan site, with little analysis or discussion of what the artifacts actually signify. Those who are short of time or patience would do well to skip ahead to the last three chapters, where the author *at last* provides a discussion of Mayan culture and beliefs. This book is still a good use of time for people who want to get a scientific view of Mayan civilization, instead of the myths that the local tour guides will perpetrate. The hand-drawn maps and illustrations are especially beautifully rendered.