The Aztecs


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The Aztecs brings to life one of the best-known indigenous civilizations of the Americas in a vivid, comprehensive account of the ancient Aztecs. * A thorough examination of Aztec origins and civilization including religion, science, and thought * Incorporates the latest archaeological excavations and research into explanations of the Spanish conquest and the continuity of Aztec culture in Central Mexico * Expanded coverage includes key topics such as writing, music, royal tombs, and Aztec predictions of the end of the world

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Jun 22, 2007

Authoritative Introduction to Aztec Culture,

Smiths book on the Aztecs is the result of a long career of archaeological research in the central Mexico. The author is among the archaeologists who have contributed most to the archaeological study of the aztecs. At the same time he is well versed in the ethnohistorical sources of postconquest Mexico . While most other authors writing about the aztecs use only the ethnohistorical sources and dedicate their studies to their interpetation Smith reads the souces in the light of archaeology. This is reason that Smiths book is so different from other introductions to the aztec culture and also why it is so important. When other introductions to the aztecs write about archeology it is normally only the monumental archaeology and mostly its religious and mythical interpretation, something that also doesn't lack in Smiths book. But whereas other descriptions of aztec daily life and material culture has normally been based on ethnographic descriptions from the sixteenth century Smith bases his description of excavations of actual aztec homes and the material culture revealed here. The books strength is exactly this. If it has a weakness this is also it - sometimes it doesn't give as deep an account of the ethnohistorical sources as other books on he subject do. Michael Smiths "The Aztecs" is reccomendable to any student of mesoamerican cultures and of the aztecs in particular, and no serious aztec scholar should remain unaware of the information it contains.

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