Maya History

[ Latin American Studies ]

Maya History

By Tatiana Proskouriakoff

Maya History reconstructs the Classic Maya period (roughly A.D. 250-900) from the glyphic record on stelae at numerous sites.



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7 x 10 | 240 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-76600-6

Tatiana Proskouriakoff, a preeminent student of the Maya, made many breakthroughs in deciphering Maya writing, particularly in demonstrating that the glyphs record the deeds of actual human beings, not gods or priests. This discovery opened the way for a history of the Maya, a monumental task that Proskouriakoff was engaged in before her death in 1985. Her work, Maya History, has been made ready for press by the able editorship of Rosemary Joyce.

Maya History reconstructs the Classic Maya period (roughly A.D. 250-900) from the glyphic record on stelae at numerous sites, including Altar de Sacrificios, Copan, Dos Pilas, Naranjo, Piedras Negras, Quirigua, Tikal, and Yaxchilan. Proskouriakoff traces the spread of governmental institutions from the central Peten, especially from Tikal, to other city-states by conquest and intermarriage. Thirteen line drawings of monuments and over three hundred original drawings of glyphs amplify the text.

Foreword by Gordon R. Willey
Tatiana Proskouriakoff, 1909–1985 by Ian Graham
Introduction by Rosemary A. Joyce
Abbreviations Used
1. The Earliest Records:– (A.D. 288–337)
2. The Arrival of Strangers:– (A.D. 337–386)
3. The Maya Regain Tikal:– (A.D. 386–435)
4. Some Ragged Pages:– (A.D. 435–485)
5. Expansion of the Maya Tradition:– (A.D. 485–534)
6. A Time of Troubles:– (A.D. 534–583)
7. Recovery on the Frontiers:– (A.D. 583–633)
8. Growth and Expansion:– (A.D. 633–682)
9. Toward a Peak of Prosperity:– (A.D. 682–736)
10. On The Crest of the Wave:– (A.D. 731–780)
11. Prelude to Disaster:– (A.D. 780–830)
12. The Final Years:– (A.D. 831–909)
13. The Last Survivals:– (A.D. 909–938)

Tatiana Proskouriakoff was a distinguished epigrapher and historian of the Maya civilization. Rosemary Joyce is associate professor of anthropology at Harvard University and associate curator of Precolumbian archaeology at the Peabody Museum.

"Maya History is the final life work of the person who was to our field as Darwin was to biology. "

—Linda Schele, coauthor of A Forest Of Kings and The Blood Of Kings

Southern Books Competition, 1993