NOT FOREVER ON EARTH: The Prehistory of Mexico by Shirley Gorenstein

NOT FOREVER ON EARTH: The Prehistory of Mexico

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Gorenstein's great enthusiasm for her subject informs this clear graceful account of archaeological spadework in Mexico from 19th century antiquarianism through the 20th century development of anthropological theories of cultural evolution. She recreates for the layman the process of deduction from the material remains of primitive microbands of hunters c. 10,000 B.C., marks the threshold of social differentiation and occupational specialization with the Olmecs (1500 B.C.) and recounts the increasingly complex intellectual and political achievements of the Maya, the Toltecs and, finally, the Aztecs whose civilization was eclipsed by the Spaniards in the 16th century. Describing ""the heroic adventure"" of an entry into a perfectly preserved funerary crypt, Gorenstein conveys the peculiar excitement of archaeology -- of breaking a haunted-house taboo and entering a new time zone -- and the fascination of all historians with finding in other times and places facsimiles of ourselves.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Scribners