Of all pre-Hispanic cultures, the Maya have perhaps attracted the most attention on the part of archaeologists and historians. Their cultural proliferation, their extraordinary scientific contributions, and their epic survival have given rise to eccentric myths and even supernatural connotations. With the confusing array of texts, predictions, studies, and suppositions, we need to step back and ask: What is, in fact, the essence of Maya? This first volume in the series Discover the Maya World sheds light on the features that define and frame Mayanist studies, from the earliest examples onward, leading to a detailed analysis of the identity, architecture, culture, and legacy of this fascinating people.
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