Behind the ancient cities of the Maya and their abandoned artworks lie the turbulent stories of their ruling dynasties. One of the world’s greatest and most powerful civilizations, the Maya experienced constant conflict in a landscape divided among numerous kingdoms. Intense rivalries, rapacious conquerors, and repeated dynastic defeat and breakdown are common themes in many tales of this mighty civilization.
The ancient Maya remain one of the most vibrant areas of study in world archaeology. Fresh discoveries in the field, together with the ongoing process of hieroglyphic decipherment, mean that information is constantly coming to light. This new version of the only comprehensive, kingdom-by-kingdom history of the ancient Maya brings the story fully up to date with previously unknown rulers and new glyphic readings, as well as additional information on diplomacy and warfare.
Simon Martin is a Research Specialist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. For the past fourteen years he has been doing epigraphic fieldwork at Calakmul, Mexico.
Nikolai Grube is a professor of anthropology at the University of Bonn. He has been closely associated with several archaeological projects, including Caracol, Belize, and Yaxha, Guatemala.