The Classic era centers of Quirigua and Copan are the eastern most outposts of early Mayan civilization. The Middle Motagua served as the source of Mesoamerica's most precious material. It was the home of the jade that was so highly valued by ancient peoples. With the fall, close to 1000 A.D. of Quirigua, Copan and their satellite communities, the lands of the Motagua drainage descend into an ahistorical void. Not until the end of the Hispanic colonial era do these lands receive any but the most cursory historical treatment. It is the intention of this book to explore this unknown time between the fall of the ancient cities and independence of Guatemala from the Spanish Crown. By using the earliest documents we can look at the end of prehistory, the culture that the Spaniards found upon their arrival among the Toquegua of the Motagua delta. The colonial era was neither a static backwater nor a time of uninterrupted prosperity (or disaster). Administrative papers tell of conditions in the towns along the busy riverine route between Spain and the Guatemalan capital and life in the tobacco and cacao lands that surrounded the old site of Copan. The story of this past, and looking for information on this past, is the subject of this volume. Boson Books also offers The War Against Epidemics in Colonial Guatemala, 1519-1821 by Lawrence Feldman. For an author bio and photo, reviews, and a reading sample, visit bosonbooks.com.
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