Maya Civilization Book Review by Jay Writtings LLC

Maya Civilization
A look at the characteristics of Mayan civilization prior to the Spanish conquest, according to Diego de Landa's account "Yucatan Before and After the Conquest".
# 116227 | 1,173 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2009 | US

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This paper describes Mayan civilization prior to the Spanish conquest, basing its description on Diego de Landa's book "Yucatan Before and After the Conquest" where he details much of what we know about the Mayan culture today. The paper focuses on Diego de Landa's depiction of probably the two most important traits of the Mayan civilization; their art and architecture. The paper also looks at the Mayan civilization's hieroglyphs, as well as their intellectual tools such as calendars and astronomy.

From the Paper:

"The translator of the book, William Gates, points out in his introduction that de Landa "burned ninety-nine times as much knowledge of Maya history and sciences as he has given us in his book." Therefore, it is wise to read the text with the author's background in mind. Nevertheless, this work remains a fascinating account of Native American life at the time of the Spanish conquest. The primary characteristics of the Maya culture were undoubtedly captured by De Landa, who in his book, describes the flora and fauna-such as his account of the manatees-as well as clothing, culinary arts, and musical instruments. His description of the gradual "Europeanization" of the younger Indian generations is fascinating and helpful in understanding the further course of history in those regions. Finally, he depicts what are probably the two most important traits of the Maya civilization, their art and architecture."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Coe, Michael. The Maya. London: Thames and Hudson Inc, 1966.
  • De Landa, Diego. 3 Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. Translated by William Gates. New York: Dover Books, 1978.
  • Flaherty, Thomas and Ritter-Clough, Elise. Lost Civilizations: The Magnificent Maya. Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1993.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Maya Civilization (2009, September 01) Retrieved March 02, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Maya Civilization" 01 September 2009. Web. 02 March. 2024. <>