Ancient Life in Mexico and Central America

Ancient Life in Mexico and Central America

Ancient Life in Mexico and Central America

Ancient Life in Mexico and Central America

Excerpt

When the book, Ancient Life in the American Southwest, was published in 1930 it was understood that its reception would determine whether or not there should be written at a later date a similar one on Mexico and Central America. In the opinion of the publishers, the book has had a satisfactory circulation and has been found readable and useful. That settles it so far as I am concerned. I shall put together the results of twenty-five years' study of Mexico and Central America, including many field trips into that ancient world; explorations extending from Chihuahua to Honduras; personal contact with the principal surviving tribes; and first-hand knowledge of most of the important ruins. There have been five excavating seasons of my own for the institution that I have directed for a quarter of a century ( The School of American Research of the Archæological Institute of America), observation of most of the excavations made by others, direction of the Middle American studies of many university students, and the reading of all the literature, good, bad, and worse, that anyone has any business to read on that part of the world.

I have had some concern about the character of this second work on ancient America. Should it be a more rigidly scientific organization of the material, following the method of textbooks designed for university students, or should it endeavor to meet this need to some extent and at the same time be useful to a reading public that cannot be reached through college textbooks and scientific reports? To help me out, the publishers kindly . . .

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