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For centuries the strange, exotic civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas flowered in total separation from the rest of mankind. Then explorers stumbled on great pyramids and temples hidden in the forests of Guatemala and Yucatan, and fortress cities high up in the Andes, to find ‘things that have never been heard or seen before, or even dreamed about’ (Bernal Diaz).
In The Ancient Sun Kingdoms of the Americas, first published in 1960, Victor von Hagen describes the history and cultures of each of these early civilizations, drawing on a lifetime’s experience of their sites, archeology and artifacts. His detailed knowledge of their institutions, economic structures and religious practices enables him to reconstruct the pattern of their daily life, and to explore their distinctive achievements in, for example, engineering, commence and communications. The account is illustrated throughout with numerous photographs, line-drawings, and reproductions from original prints.
‘The Ancient Sun Kingdoms of the Americas vividly fulfils the author’s aim “to take these people out of the flow of the purely archaeological and put them back into the human stream of life”.’—Daily Telegraph