A formal study, with photographs, of pre-Columbian art from the second millennium to Montezuma; an enthusiastic job from an expert in the field, punctilious but never pedantic. The author's inventory, though skimpy in spots, is generally impressive and his ""message"", the hardly revolutionary one now that pre-Hispanic history in the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala was a cultural windfall and that its artists, skilled and subtle craftsmen, are not to be considered ""primitive"", comes across colorfully and without too much over-emphasis. There are sturdy summations of the jewel-like temple-cities of Maya and her time-centered sensibility, a few lyrical descriptions of Teotihuacan murals. The book encompasses the Pre-Classic village era, the Classic age of the priests and the subsequent splendors of the nomadic warriors, the Toltecs and Aztecs. It closes, with appropriate shudders, on the Cortez butchery. For students and professionals.