The House of the Governor: A Maya Palace at Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico

Jeff Karl Kowalski, Author University of Oklahoma Press $60 (298p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2035-5
Focusing on one of the most beautiful and intriguing buildings in the Maya area, a hugh, ornate, low-lying horizontal structure on a high platform that dominates the ancient site of Uxmal, this well-illustrated volume (201 black-and-white photographs) is an impressive scholarly synthesis. Kowalski, on the faculty of Northern Illinois University, has culled widely dispersed data from historical sources and archeological reports on the structure's history, construction and dating sequence. He describes its elaborate stone mosaic facade, reviewing various interpretations of its iconographic meaning while contrasting it with comparable Mesoamerican architectural decoration. In addressing the scholarly debate about the residential or administrative function of this so-called palace, Kowalski judiciously concludes that it functioned as both and also as an astronomical observatory. While scholars of Mayan architecture will welcome the bookpreviously available in dissertation formatits cumbersome style and exhaustive detail will make it rough going for a lay readership. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
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