"Archaeology in Biologia Centrali-Americana, Or, Contributions
to the Knowledge of the Fauna and Flora of Mexico and Central
America" took Maudslay 13 years to complete. Originally published
in 1902, the pioneering work was sold only through the renowned
bookshop, Arte Primitivo in New York City. It now is being
distributed throughout North America by the OU Press.
Maudslay, who from the ages of 31 to 44 devoted his life to the
Maya ruins, laid the foundation on which Maya archaeology now
stands. He spent the whole or a large part of eight dry seasons
working among the ruins, excavating, taking notes, making
photographs and preparing molds. During the lull of the rainy
seasons, he assembled the material, wrote the narrative and
supervised the work of skilled artists employed to render drawings
of the glyphs in restored condition.
The first two bound volumes present drawings and photographs of
Maya ruins on an extraordinary scale, the pages measuring 11 3/4
inches high and 18 inches wide. The next two volumes contain
Maudslay's commentary and an appendix on archaic calendars by J. T.
The introduction is by Francis Robicsek, adjunct professor of
anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and
chairman of the department of thoracic cardiovascular surgery at
the Charlotte Memorial Hospital and Medical Center. Robicsek is the
author of The Smoking Gods: Tobacco in Maya Art, History, and
Religion and the co-author with Donald Hales of The Maya Book of
the Dead: The Ceramic Codex, both available from the OU Press.
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