A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya

A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya❴Reading❵ ➿ A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya Author Linda Schele – Heartforum.co.uk Recent interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs has given the st written history of the New World as it existed before the European invasion In this book, two of the st central figures in the effort to deco Recent interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs has of Kings: MOBI ☆ given the st written history of the New World as it existed before the European invasion In this book, two of the st central figures in the effort to decode the glyphs, Linda Schele amp; David Freidel, detail this history A Forest of Kings is the story of Maya kingship, from the beginning of its institution amp; the st great pyramid buildersyears ago to the decline of Maya A Forest MOBI :Ä civilization amp; its destruction by the Spanish Here the great rulers of preColumbian civilization come to life again with the decipherment of their writing At its height, Maya civilization flourished under great kings like ShieldJaguar, who ruled for overyears, expanding his kingdom amp; building some of the most impressive works of architecture in the ancient world Long placed on a mistshrouded pedestal as austere, peaceful stargazers, Maya elites are now known to have been the Forest of Kings: PDF/EPUB ä rulers of populous, aggressive citystates Hailed as a Rosetta stone of Maya civilization Brian M Fagan, author of People of the Earth, A Forest of Kings is a must for interested readers, says Evon Vogt, Harvard anthropology professor.

Is a well known author, some of Kings: MOBI ☆ of his books are a fascination for readers like in the A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya book, this is one of the most wanted Linda Schele author readers around the world.

A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya
  • Paperback
  • 552 pages
  • A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya
  • Linda Schele
  • English
  • 23 August 2017
  • 9780688112042

10 thoughts on “A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya

  1. Jan-Maat says:

    The joy of this book is that it was one of the first to be published after the major breakthrough in understanding the Maya script. No longer were we in the serene world of priestly astronomers but of the would be big beasts of the political jungle asserting their greatness, heritage and deeds on steles.

    The obvious limitation is that as time moves on from publication, more is discovered and more is translated the more the views advanced in the book will be subject to revision.

    However it tells of an interesting world. A city-state civilisation built out of the jungle that struggled to maintain political order in the face of an obscure environmental or ecological catastrophe. It's a nice update to Eric Thompson's The Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization.

    The big surprise was that understanding their script overturned understanding of the Maya world which because it was understood that they were interested in numbers and astronomy - many of their carved stelae marking significant dates, so it was thought they were cerebral astronomers their culture fixated upon the heavens, their written inscriptions revealed that their interest in dates and astronomy and conjunctions was in part political. All quite a change from Erich van Daniken who made a fine living claiming that the same inscriptions showed alien astronauts rather than aristocrats burning scraps of paper soaked in their own blood in the smoke of which they perceived dream visions of their ancestors and gods.

  2. Erik Graff says:

    I visited the NE Yucatan three times in the 1990s, devoting most of my time to hiking the coast and, with the help of young Maya, trekking overland to ruins they'd tell me of. Preparatory to these trips I'd read some of the literature, much of it dated. This then is one of the first books I've read which purports to be based on the recent decoding of Mayan script. Armed with this new insight, Schele and Freidel tell a number of stories, histories really, of several Mayan centers and the people who dominated them.

    Frankly, given the evidence they present (confronting my ignorance), I am skeptical. Their accounts seem just a bit too certain, their qualifications too muted. Their approach approaches the novelistic--and indeed the whole is punctuated by little illuminating fictions.

    I would have been more comfortable with a more cautious, scholarly approach, on the one hand, or a more purely novelistic one, on the other.

    On one point, though, they got me going, that being their repeated references to the vision quests through bloodletting. Apparently the Maya would do stuff life putting stingray barbs through their penises and tongues in order to obtain visionary access to spiritual realms. In the text itself the authors treat this as unremarkable, as though 'of course, such painful practices induce altered states of consciousness'. Well, that made no sense, so I went through the footnotes, all of them (and there are many), and found that there they amplified their descriptions by adducing pain, fasting and 'intoxication' as the causes of their visions. Now that made it seem a bit more plausible, but still left me wondering what the intoxicating agent(s) might have been. That is nowhere addressed.

    Personally, I find both Egyptian and Mayan art to be 'trippy'. Both are very colorful, often as if self-illumined. Both delineate forms starkly. This is how things look to me--and to many others, from what I hear--under the influence. So, naturally, I wonder if it's common to find oneself in pseudo-MesoAmerican environments simply because of the overweening influence of the writings of Carlos Castaneda et alia or, more intriguingly, if it's because both we and our American (or Egyptian) ancestors took similar substances and had similar visions, visions which their cultures took seriously enough to represent in their art and religion.

    I find it odd that the authors of this book didn't address this matter at all.

  3. Kavita says:

    The book started off very slowly and made some assumptions that only Westerners would be reading this book. I also found it hard to believe that rain dance of the Mayans worked and that historians must treat those customs with respect. These things in the beginning almost made me give up on the book, but the later chapters became more and more professional and detailed. Once I had reached the middle of the book, I had a lot more respect for the author than at the beginning.

    Other than these minor irritants, the book is very well written and presents a detailed account of both the archaeology and history of the ancient Mayan kingdoms from conception to decline. It works well as an introductory book to the world of Maya, but does not limit itself to just one period. Instead, an overview of the entire Mayan history is meticulously given along with archaeological details. And pictures. Plenty of pictures explaining the Stelas. Overall, a good book!

  4. Timothy Boyd says:

    This is the 2nd book I have recently read on the Maya. Like the other book this one was heavily written from a more archeological view than a historical view. The writer does try to fill out the history with reimagined events of everyday life of the Maya based on the archeological evidence. Not recommended unless you are greatly into reading archeological studies.

  5. Kyle says:

    This book is a great showcase of what we lost when the great Linda Schiele died. Though obviously the book is a bit outdated (we just know more about the Maya, particularly their written languages, now than when this book was written), it still holds surprising relevance to Mayan studies today. The technical information is presented in an accessible format that anyone can understand regardless of their previous knowledge/experience in Mayan studies.
    This book also does something very unique that few other history books are willing to do (let alone Mayan ones); this book provides fanciful story-style interpretations of historical events surrounding the various Mayan players (like Kings). Some people may not like these short story excerpts as they are historical fiction, but I think they provide the reader with real connections and emotional investment with the historical figures presented in the history book portions of the book.
    Overall, this is a great book for people interested in some of the major city states and kings of the ancient Maya, and though the information is outdated and the translations crude by today's standard, it is still an enjoyable, educational, and accessible read for people of all backgrounds.

  6. Jesse says:

    Linda Schele rules! and i hope all the mysteries of the maya were revealed to her when she entered xibalba. and I know she will trick the gods of death and emerge from the turtles back as a resplendent world tree shining under the mesoamerican sun!

  7. Silvio Curtis says:

    Given that this book assumes no previous knowledge and sometimes words things melodramatically, but packs its information pretty densely, I'm guessing that it's intended as an introductory college textbook. The first chapter covers basics of pre-conquest Maya culture, and the last chapter discusses the collapse of Classic civilization and a little about the European conquest. In between, most chapters focus on a specific city: Cerros for the Pre-Classic rise of kingship and monumental architecture, Tikal for the first wars of conquest, a chapter on the reconstructed intercity politics of the middle Classic, two chapters on Palenque and Yaxchilán for detailed examinations of dynastic ideology, Copán for the Terminal Classic and collapse, and Chichén Itzá for post-classic civilization. So many then-ongoing discoveries and controversies appear in this book that it must be significantly out of date by now, more than 20 years after it was published.

  8. AskHistorians says:

    This was a landmark book when it was published detailing the history of the Maya world based off the newly translated hieroglyphs. Linda Schele was the epigrapher of the Maya world up until her death and her work, including this one, made landmark strides in the field. This is a must read for those just getting into the Maya region and wanting to know the specifics of their history during the Classic period.

  9. Chris says:

    Co-written by one of the most prominent Maya scholars of the 20th century, the late Linda Schele, this book examines the Mayan civilization through its linguistic legacy. Showing the processes which helped decipher a large amount of Mayan inscription, this book also describes their genealogical legacy as described through the Mayan stelae record.

  10. Ryan says:

    Read ages ago on a trip to Honduras where I visited several Mayan sites. In general, reading about a place on a trip to the place usually reflects poorly on either the place or the literature. In this case, the literature suffered. But there is a lot of human sacrifice to keep the story in the red.

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