An authoritative and magnificently illustrated survey of Mesoamerican architecture from pre-Olmec times to the Spanish conquest. Pre-Columbian Architecture in Mesoamerica is destined to become a standard reference for the serious student and an intellectual delight for the interested amateur. This authoritative yet accessible study begins with an overview of the aesthetics, meanings, functions, and techniques of Mesoamerican architecture, and then proceeds to survey the historical development of the builder's art in each of the region's cultural areas. As readers travel from the the Maya heartland of Guatemala and the Yucatan to the Aztec stronghold of the Valley of Mexico, and all the way to the rthern hinterlands of Mesoamerica, they will gain an appreciation of both the unity and the diversity of the region's architecture. The concluding chapter is devoted to the descriptions of architecture that have survived in Mayan and Aztec texts; it includes a unique and valuable glossary of the relevant glyphs. The main text is illustrated with color photographs of the spectacular remains of pyramids, palaces, and plazas, while a scholarly appendix presents maps, plans, and drawings of the most important sites and structures.
Maria Teresa Uriarte is a professor of art history at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and the director of a major research project on Pre-Columbian mural painting in Mexico. She is the author or co-author of several other books on Pre-Columbian art.