Back to top

Maya History

Maya History
Edited by Rosemary Joyce

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

April 1993
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
240 pages | 7 x 10 | illus. |

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.



  • Acknowledgments
  • 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)
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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


Available for Kindle
Available on Google Play
Available on Kobo
Available for Nook
Available on the Apple Store

This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca