This easy-to-consult guide proposes a complete and exhautive survey on pre-Columbian art and gives a unique opportunity to gain a closer view of the pre-Hispanic world. Edited by Carmen Fauria, director of the Barcelona Museum of Ethnology and written by Jean Paul Barbier, one of the leading experts of pre-Columbian art, the volume analyses the origins and the decline not only of the greatest ancient American civilisations (Mayas, Aztects, Olmecs, Incas, etc), but also of cultures which are less well-known to the general public, but not less interesting. It will be a source of surprise and fascination to the reader, as will the cultures which grew up in the forest regions of Easter Mississippi, in the mountains and deserts of the south-west of the United States, and in the Amazon Basin. Detailed geographical maps, photographs of archaeological sites, and even some drawings, help to explain the stone and the wooden sculptures, ceramics, gold and silver jewellery, fabrics and other works of art (some of which are two or three thousand years old) mostly selected from the rich collections of the Museo Barbier-Mueller of pre-Columbian art in Barcelona, reproduced in colour to better appreciate the sophistication of the American artists working before the arrival of Columbus in 1492 and before the destruction of the Aztec and Inca empires in 1521 and 1532 respectively.
Contents Introduction Archaelogy of the United States The Olmec Horizon The Mayas Arts of Western Mexico Three Cities from the Classic Era: Teotihuacán, Monte Albán and El Tajín The Aztecs Central America Gold and the Goldsmiths’ Art Peru Art of the Amazon A Better Understanding of the Precolumbian Civilisations