Cover image for Tikal : an illustrated history : the ancient Maya capital
Tikal : an illustrated history : the ancient Maya capital
Montgomery, John, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hippocrene Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
xix, 271 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Subject Term:
Geographic Term:
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
F1435.1.T5 M654 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F1435.1.T5 M654 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
F1435.1.T5 M654 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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This concise illustrated volume recounts Tikal's rise from prehistoric obscurity to unparalleled success at the height of Maya Civilisation, as well as its spectacular collapse and abandonment. Through the many hieroglyphic inscriptions, grave gifts from tombs, and a rich architectural and artistic legacy, the book recreates the political, and social life of the city and of the Maya in general.

Author Notes

John Montgomery, widely recognized as a leading illustrator of Precolumbian art and a specialist in Maya hieroglyphic writing, holds degrees in art history from the University of New Mexico

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Famous today for its temples, palaces, monuments, and museum, Tikal governed a large area in the rain forest of northern Guatemala. Maya hieroglyphic texts can now be read, revealing rulers' names, their birth, accession, and death dates, affirmations of family lineages, political relationships, ceremonies, and wars won and lost. Using archaeological evidence, historians can construct at least plausible interpretations of the ambitions of individual rulers, motivations of groups, strategies of kinship/marriage alliances, and results of warfare--the familiar kind of narrative history written about city-states and kingdoms of the Mediterranean, Europe, and Asia. Pre-Columbian art historian and illustrator Montgomery writes such a history, interpreting the dynastic history of Tikal's rulers and their relations with other Maya capitals and distant non-Maya states over a span of more than 700 years from the second century CE. The drawings, maps, and poorly reproduced gray photos are helpful, though limited compared with most of Montgomery's sources (e.g., S. Martin and N. Grube, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens, 2000; P. Harrison, The Lords of Tikal, 1999). No guides to pronunciation or the revised spelling of Maya words; diacritical marks used inconsistently in both Spanish and Maya; well-selected reference lists. All levels. K. A. Dixon emeritus, California State University, Long Beach

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
List Of Illustrations And Photographsp. xi
List Of Mapsp. xiv
Introduction: Tikal and the Classic Mayap. 1
Part 1 The Preclassic Period (600 B.C.-A.D. 250)p. 5
Chapter 1 Beneath the Trees, Beneath the Vinesp. 7
Chapter 2 The Dawn of Historyp. 17
Part 2 The Early Classic Period (A.D. 250-448)p. 29
Chapter 3 Children of Yax Eb' Xookp. 31
Chapter 4 The Rise of Tikal's Jaguar Dynastyp. 43
Chapter 5 The Arrival of Strangersp. 55
Chapter 6 Sky-Born "Ancestor"p. 79
Part 3 The Middle Classic Period (A.D. 448-682)p. 91
Chapter 7 The Children of K'an Chitamp. 93
Chapter 8 Hubuy Mutul: The "Downing of Tikal"p. 105
Chapter 9 The Second Mutulp. 119
Part 4 The Late Classic Period (A.D. 682-909)p. 139
Chapter 10 His Flint, His Shield: The Life of Jasaw Kaan K'awilp. 141
Chapter 11 The Successors of Yax Eb' Xookp. 169
Chapter 12 Enter the Sun: The Last Days of Tikalp. 195
Chapter 13 Collapse and Abandonmentp. 223
Epilogue: Apotheosisp. 231
Appendix 1 Tikal's Dynastic Sequencep. 239
Appendix 2 Chronologyp. 247
Referencesp. 255
Indexp. 265