cover of book

Animals and Plants of the Ancient Maya: A Guide
by Victoria Schlesinger
introduction by Carlos Galindo-Leal
illustrated by Juan C. Chab Medina
University of Texas Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-292-77759-0 | Paper: 978-0-292-77760-6
Library of Congress Classification F1435.3.E73S35 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 578.0972


A growing interest in all things Maya brings an increasing number of visitors to prehistoric Maya ruins and contemporary Maya communities in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, western Honduras, the Yucatán Peninsula, and the southern areas of Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexico. For these visitors and indeed everyone with an interest in the Maya, this field guide highlights nearly 100 species of plants and animals that were significant to the ancient Maya and that continue to inhabit the Maya region today.

Drawing from the disciplines of biology, ecology, and anthropology, Victoria Schlesinger describes each plant or animal's habitat and natural history, identifying characteristics (also shown in a black-and-white drawing), and cultural significance to the ancient and contemporary Maya. An introductory section explains how to use the book and offers a concise overview of the history, lifeways, and cosmology of the ancient Maya. The concluding section describes the collapse of ancient Maya society and briefly traces the history of the Maya region from colonial times to the present.

See other books on: Ancient Maya | Ethnobiology | Mayas | Wildlife | Yucatán Peninsula
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