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Among the most sumptuous buildings of antiquity were royal palaces. As in the Old World, kings and nobles of ancient Mexico and Peru had luxurious administrative quarters in cities, and exquisite pleasure palaces in the countryside. This volume explores the great houses of the ancient New World, from palaces of the Aztecs and Incas, looted by the Spanish conquistadors, to those lost high in the Andes and deep in the jungle. This volume, the first scholarly compendium of elite residences of the high cultures of the New World, presents definitive descriptions and interpretations by leading scholars in the field. Authoritative yet accessible, this extensively illustrated book will serve as an important resource for anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians of art, architecture, and related disciplines.
This is the first comprehensive, one-volume encyclopedia in English devoted to pre-Columbian archaeology of the Mesoamerican culture area. In more than 500 articles by the major experts in the field, this work brings the most recent scholarship to an examination of regional environments and their cultural evolution. Entries range from the familiar and world-renowned archaeological discoveries of Maya and Aztec sites to more recent excavations such as the Sayil archaeological zone in the Yucatan and Teopantecuanitlan in Guerrero. A rich historical and cultural resource on one of the world's six cradles of civilization, this reference is ideal for students, scholars, and prospective travellers.
Lightning in the Andes and Mesoamerica is the first ever study to explore the symbolic elements surrounding lightning in Pre-Columbian religious ideologies.
This volume investigates how the structure and use of space developed and changed in cities, and examines the role of different societal groups in shaping urbanism. Culturally and chronologically diverse case studies provide a basis to examine recent theoretical and methodological shifts in the archaeology of ancient cities. The book's primary goal is to examine how ancient cities were made by the people who lived in them. The authors argue that there is a mutually constituting relationship between urban form and the actions and interactions of a plurality of individuals, groups, and institutions, each with their own motivations and identities. Space is therefore socially produced as these agents operate in multiple spheres.
Ancient American palaces still captivate those who stand before them. Even in their fallen and ruined condition, the palaces project such power that, according to the editors of this new collection, it must have been deliberately drawn into their formal designs, spatial layouts, and choice of locations. Such messages separated palaces from other elite architecture and reinforced the power and privilege of those residing in them. Indeed, as Christie and Sarro write, "the relation between political power and architecture is a pervasive and intriguing theme in the Americas." Given the variety of cultures, time periods, and geographical locations examined within, the editors of this book have grouped the articles into four sections. The first looks at palaces in cultures where they have not previously been identified, including the Huaca of Moche Site, the Wari of Peru, and Chaco Canyon in the U.S. Southwest. The second section discusses palaces as "stage sets" that express power, such as those found among the Maya, among the Coast Salish of the Pacific Northwest, and at El Tajín on the Mexican Gulf Coast. The third part of the volume presents cases in which differences in elite residences imply differences in social status, with examples from Pasado de la Amada, the Valley of Oaxaca, Teotihuacan, and the Aztecs. The final section compares architectural strategies between cultures; the models here are Farfán, Peru, under both the Chimú and the Inka, and the separate states of the Maya and the Inka. Such scope, and the quality of the scholarship, make Palaces and Power in the Americas a must-have work on the subject.
This study explores the organization, scale, complexity, and integration of Aztec commerce across Mesoamerica at Spanish contact. The aims of the book are threefold. The first is to construct an in-depth understanding of the economic organization of precolumbian Aztec society and how it developed in the way that it did. The second is to explore the livelihoods of the individuals who bought, sold, and moved goods across a cultural landscape that lacked both navigable rivers and animal transport. Finally, this study models Aztec economy in a way that facilitates its comparison to other ancient and premodern societies around the world. What makes the Aztec economy unique is that it developed one of the most sophisticated market economies in the ancient world in a society with one of the worse transportation systems. This is the first book to provide an updated and comprehensive view of the Aztec economy in thirty years.
The Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs, the first of its kind, provides a current overview of recent research on the Aztec empire, the best documented prehispanic society in the Americas. Chapters span from the establishment of Aztec city-states to the encounter with the Spanish empire and the Colonial period that shaped the modern world. Articles in the Handbook take up new research trends and methodologies and current debates. The Handbook articles are divided into seven parts. Part I, Archaeology of the Aztecs, introduces the Aztecs, as well as Aztec studies today, including the recent practice of archaeology, ethnohistory, museum studies, and conservation. The articles in Part II, Historical Change, provide a long-term view of the Aztecs starting with important predecessors, the development of Aztec city-states and imperialism, and ending with a discussion of the encounter of the Aztec and Spanish empires. Articles also discuss Aztec notions of history, writing, and time. Part III, Landscapes and Places, describes the Aztec world in terms of its geography, ecology, and demography at varying scales from households to cities. Part IV, Economic and Social Relations in the Aztec Empire, discusses the ethnic complexity of the Aztec world and social and economic relations that have been a major focus of archaeology. Articles in Part V, Aztec Provinces, Friends, and Foes, focuses on the Aztec's dynamic relations with distant provinces, and empires and groups that resisted conquest, and even allied with the Spanish to overthrow the Aztec king. This is followed by Part VI, Ritual, Belief, and Religion, which examines the different beliefs and rituals that formed Aztec religion and their worldview, as well as the material culture of religious practice. The final section of the volume, Aztecs after the Conquest, carries the Aztecs through the post-conquest period, an increasingly important area of archaeological work, and considers the place of the Aztecs in the modern world.

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