Regular price: $41.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Centuries ago, Spanish conquistadors searching for gold and new lands encountered a group of independent city-states in Mesoamerica. Sophisticated beyond the Spaniards' wildest imaginings, these people were the Aztecs, the Maya, and related cultures that shared common traditions of religion, government, the arts, engineering, and trade. In many ways more advanced than European nations, these societies equaled the world's greatest civilizations of their time.

Immerse yourself in this epic story with 48 exhilarating half-hour lectures that cover the scope of Mesoamerican history and culture. You'll focus mainly on the Maya, who have been in Mesoamerica for thousands of years, and the Aztecs, who mysteriously appeared late and rose swiftly to power. The Aztecs fell from power just as precipitously; their empire controlled the region for less than a century, until the arrival of the Spanish in the early 1500s. Why were the Aztecs so quickly defeated by the conquistadors, while the Maya resisted the invaders for generations?

Although the Spanish eventually conquered all of Mesoamerica, much remains of the original cultures. Beautiful artifacts fill museums. Impressive ruins dot the landscape. And millions of descendants of ancient Mesoamericans still live in their ancestral homes, speaking native languages and practicing time-honored traditions. The countries from Mexico to Costa Rica include more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites related to the pre-Columbian period, plus scores of other ancient sites that are equally worth a visit. This course is the ideal way to plan an itinerary, prepare for a tour, or simply sit back and enjoy a thrilling virtual voyage. You will be surprised at the number of sites to explore - many more than you could possibly see in months of travel. Your guide is Professor Barnhart, a noted archaeologist whose exploits include the discovery of a lost Maya city.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2015 The Great Courses (P)2015 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    626
  • 4 Stars
    199
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    542
  • 4 Stars
    194
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    582
  • 4 Stars
    158
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Everything you would ever want and more

What did you love best about Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed?

Professor Barnhart in an expert and the research is up to date as of the spring of 2015. As with any Audible purchase of Great Courses material, you suffer from not having a study guide.

Professor Barnhart is engaging and easy to listen to. His personal stories and background in the field add color to his presentation. I did find myself fading away at times because he does take you deep into the weeds of every topic. His enthusiasm for the topic is infectious and brings to mind Bob Brier’s amazing “History of Ancient Egypt.”

These lectures are not designed for people with only a passing interest in the topic, but if your study of the word has neglected Mesoamerica, this is the definitive listening experience.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic, Engrossing & Informative

This is a beautifully written book; I learned a great deal from it. Be aware that it's not for beginners; I was grateful for my background in Mesoamerican studies.

The narrator was superb; he helped me a great deal with my pronunciation.

If this type of history sings to you, definitely try this book

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Presentation and a Wonderful Narrator

Where does Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would say this book ranks among my top 3 for non-fiction content. It's possibly ranked 1st in regards to presentation and narration by Professor Edwin Barnhart. I would have to say that Dr. Barnhart's narration has been the most enjoyable I've heard yet among the Great Courses. The only other narrator I've enjoyed listening to on this level has been Will Patton. The lack of slurps, burps, "ah's and uh's", hard mouth candy, vocal fry, and "sing song" speaking has been refreshing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There's no particular favorite. I've enjoyed the entire presentation.

Which scene was your favorite?

I've enjoyed all of the chapters. Having traveled Central America and visiting several of the sites mentioned in his lecture, I've been inspired to plan another trip to the area after gaining another level of appreciation for the Mayan artifact's that we can so easily stroll through today thanks to the efforts of men and women such as Professor Barnhart.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I can't say enough how pleased I've been with the overall presentation and content of this lecture. I look forward to purchasing the other lecture that is available here on Audible from Professor Edwin Barnhart.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW! I learned SO MUCH!

Where does Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This course is tops for how much I learned, right after the course on Ancient Egypt which is also excellent.

What did you like best about this story?

Between kindergarten, grade school, high school, and college I have 17 years of schooling plus lots of post-graduate learning. And during all those years, I learned NOTHING about the ancient America's. So little, in fact, that I was really interested in learning about the Inca. I saw the title and thought this would include information about the Inca. Nope.

I had to laugh at my own naivete. The very fact that I made that mistake meant that I very much needed this course. I knew NOTHING about Mesoamerica. All that schooling, and even though I live in the America's, we never once in all those years discussed anything substantive about ancient America. It's a travesty of our educational system.

But this course set things right.

Any additional comments?

This is a fun and enjoyable course. But it is not an easy course. I found it very difficult to keep track of the names of places and people because they were so strange to me. So just be forewarned that you will really need to pay attention to names. It helps to have a map so you can find these places and have a better idea of how everything fits together.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Walk With the Ancient Mayans with Prof. Barnhart

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I listened to these lectures in preparation for a vacation to the Yucatan. Professor Barnhart transmits his own wonder over the Mayas to the listener. He relates the history with proper reference to the primary historical record, discusses where there is some uncertainty, and inviting the listener to join in the academic exploration. By the end of the series, you might be tempted to pick up a shovel and join him on an archaeological dig.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed?

The discussion of Mayan mathematics and calendar revealed how incredibly advanced the Mayans were in these areas. It demonstrated how knowledge burgeoned in the New World, in parallel with the Eastern world.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm obsessed with Central America

I always have been. From the Ancient Mayans...Jaguars.....the pyramids...the Caribbean...the Pirates....modern Mexican culture...the food...etc. The whole nine yards. This epic lecture series has reawakened my passion for understanding the mystery and rich cultural life of this place. I can't wait to learn more. I recently visited Mexico for the first time at Tulum and also climbed a pyramid at Coba. It was incredible. If you're really into this stuff like me you'll enjoy this thorough look into the lives of the pre-Colombian Meso American people.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A thorough time travel with an enthusiastic guide

This is, no doubt, a great listen. It's clear that Prof. Barnhart knows, feels and loves Mesoamerica, a subject that has always fascinated me.
I feel some more storytelling would be welcome, though... May be I'll listen to it again...
I would suggest to attach some pdf maps. There are so many names, so many different places and connections that sometimes it becomes a bit hard to follow.
Anyway, it is inspiring to know that there's so much yet to be found... and it makes me want to go to Mexico again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Treatment of Panorama of Mesoamerica

I have listened several times, as preparation make a trip more meaningful.

Couldn't recommend it more enthusiastically.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

academic

very dense with information. I felt I needed a text to go along with the lectures to track timelines, see pictures, maps, etc.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and Anything But Dry

The course is roughly chronological, with deeper forays into topics such as Maya mathematics or Aztec art. I learned a TON, even though I know there's far more to learn. I have always been confused about the relationship between various Mesa-American groups, and that's a lot clearer to me now. The presenter takes many side trips into interesting theories and discoveries and is very entertaining.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christine lee
  • 06-01-15

Great Course - but you need the PDF

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It is great - but you really need the pdfto fully enjoy it - the pdf is not available on Audiblebut it is available form the Great Courses website.It is v expensive.

What other book might you compare Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed to, and why?

It's in a league by itself.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All so interesting it;s impossible to say

Was Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed worth the listening time?

Indeed...compulsive listening

Any additional comments?

You really need the pdf or you will have to transcribe a greatdeal of the information which of course means you might bereading this till the end of next year. I am using it for a courseand being selective.

I really want the pdf

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greg Walker
  • 07-15-16

Very good

Very interesting.
planning a future trip to Mexico! its a revelation to see so deeply into the detail and past silly modern fringe wishful thinking interpretations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-15

Brilliant!

Another great lecture series from The Great courses. A fascinating and broad range of topics written and narrated by somebody who really knows their stuff! Compulsive listening .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Familien Haugmåne
  • 08-10-18

Fantastic!

Super engaged and knowledgeable lecturer with a real passion for his field that really comes across in his lectures. A wonderful blend of pure facts and his (and other's) experiences in the field. I love how many theories are explored for unknown questions and not just the lecturer's own views. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yvonne
  • 04-03-16

Wow

What a ride - worlds we don't hear enough about - this is amazing. Looking for a sequel.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • david
  • 10-07-15

Poorly delivered pedantry

What would have made Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed better?

Editing! Spending 2 minutes explaining why he's using the Christian calendar and apologising if he causes offence is quite frankly ridiculous.

Has Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed put you off other books in this genre?

No, I will try to find one that sticks to the point.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He stumbles over words and it felt like a ramble with no particular point.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed?

I only got through chapter 1 and part of chapter 2. I'd completely re-write it and only mention what was coming up in the book. The book says its about Mayans and Aztecs, but chapter 2 starts with the Olmecs. Poor title!

He mentions the mayans understand calendars about 3-4 times in the introduction. There are so many problems it's impossible to suggest a couple of fixes. Total re-write is needed.
Oh have I just repeated myself? It's the audiobook's effect.

Any additional comments?

This book desperately needs sub editing.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful