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Adventures in Pre-Columbian Studies:

Essays in Honor of Elizabeth P. Benson
Julie Jones (Editor)
299 pp. / 10 x 8 / 2010
Paperback (978-0-615-36009-6)
$25.00 (U.S. orders)

Elizabeth P. Benson is a remarkable scholar who has advanced our understanding and appreciation of the Pre-Columbian world. She not only created the Pre-Columbian Studies Program at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., but she organized the first Maya hieroglyphic study group in the U.S., and, in her own research, refined the ways in which iconography and cross-cultural studies are used to explore the ancient American past.

She promoted new approaches to understanding the art of ancient cultures, such as the combined use of ethnohistory, ethnography, and natural history (especially animals). Perhaps the majority of her time, however, has been devoted to helping others.

A testament to Betty Benson's prescience and dedication, Adventures in Pre-Columbian Studies is a journey into the field of pre-Columbian studies as told through her career. Written in a style accessible to any level of interest, this richly illustrated volume with color plates throughout covers a variety of subjects as diverse as her interests that range from Mexico to the central Andes including Maya, Moche, Olmec, Paracas, Aztec, and Chavín. Adventures in Pre-Columbian Studies brings together a diverse array of today's leading pre-Columbian scholars whose careers were influenced by Benson. These researchers recap the thinking of the past, delve into the cutting-edge ideas of the present and provide glimpses into the potential breakthroughs of the future. The book uniquely demonstrates the many, far-reaching and oftentimes unforeseen intellectual rewards to be reaped from one person's selfless efforts.


Acknowledgement. Patricia Anawalt
Foreword. Lucy B. Wilson
From the National Gallery of Art to Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru. Julie Jones
Riding the Cayman Canoe: The Iconography of Bats in Chavín Art. Peter G. & Amy W. Roe
The Rise of Social Complexity and the Evolution of Rulership in Moche Society and
Visual Culture. Steve Bourget
The Maya Cylinder: A Short History Unrolled. Justin Kerr
Sacrifice as Reciprocity: Mesoamerican and Andean. Esther Pasztory
The Sacred Deer Complex: Out of Eurasia. Alana Cordy-Collins
The Future: For Every Answer, Ten Questions. Elizabeth P. Benson
Bibliography of Elizabeth P. Benson. [Margaret Athey and Jean Wagner]


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