Maya Land of the Turkey and the Deer Author:Victor W. von Hagen The Mayas were an old civilization long before Cortes first landed in Mexico. Even Tulum, the coastal city where Ah Tok lived, was over a thousand years old when the first "bearded stranger" was brought within its walls as a captive slave. For the Mayas had lived in the region (now Guatemala, Chiapas, and Yucatan) since about 2000 BC. In time... more », they had filled the jungles and plains with their great stone-built cities and wide stone roads, called sacbe. Sea-going canoes carried trade goods to and from distant lands, and towering pyramid-temples rose above the tallest trees of the jungle. Even though the great Mayan cities were no longer united as they had been under Kukulkan 500 years before, only the priests who read the sacred May books worried about "the prophecy of 8 Ahau" which forecast misfortune and evil times.
This was "the land of the turkey and the deer," and in this skillful re-creation of Mayan life just before the coming of the Spaniards, Victor von Hagen dramatically summarizes its history, culture, and impressive achievements. Like the text, the vigorous illustrations by Alberto Beltran are completely authentic.« less