An intriguing introduction to ancient cities in the Americas and the cultures that supported them.
Young readers will be amazed that a city named Cahokia thrived on the Mississippi River 500 years before Columbus arrived in the New World, a city with 3,000 structures and a great pyramid on a 200-acre plaza. Likewise, underneath modern-day Mexico City lie the ruins of Tenochtitlán, the ancient capital of the Aztec Empire. These cities, along with Cuzco (a 14th-century Incan city) and Copán (a jungle city of the Maya), are the focus of this clear and readable volume, in which Aveni discusses how the cities arose, flourished and fell, noting that “no civilization’s power lasts forever.” Small maps complement the discussion of each city, and a pronunciation guide helps with some (though not all) of the difficult names. The volume is not just about ancient cities, but also about lessons to be learned from them: “If we look closely enough, we can discover where they succeeded and why they failed. That’s the lesson of history.”
A solid treatment of a fascinating subject, introducing young readers to cities that rose and fell long before our time. (source notes) (Nonfiction. 10-14)