Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Preface

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pp. ix-xii

Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xv

Notes on Names and Orthography

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pp. xvii-xviii

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On Distances and Measurements

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p. xix

"This book uses the metric system of distances and measurements: meters instead of feet, kilometers instead of miles, hectares instead of acres. The following list will aid readers not accustomed to these..."

Epochs of Civilization in the Maya Tropical Forest

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p. xxi

Part One Time, Land, and Forest

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p. 1

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1 Introduction to the Maya Tropical Forest

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pp. 3-17

"We woke up to the raucous, barking growl of howler monkeys in the trees overhead—a sound much louder than animals their size should make and one that raises the hair on the back of your neck the first time you hear it in the rainforest. We had slept in the thousand-year-old ruins of the Maya city of Piedras Negras, on a sandy bank above the dark, rushing ..."

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2 History of the Maya Tropical Forest

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pp. 18-45

"Legend has it that when the Spanish conquistador Hern

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3 Natural History of the Maya Tropical Forest

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pp. 46-110

"Long before humans came to occupy the Maya region, geology had divided it into highlands and lowlands. Photographs taken from NASA’s space shuttles as they pass over Guatemala show a long chain of volcanic mountains streaming westward along the Pacific Ocean into Chiapas and eastward into El Salvador and Honduras. Here and there, a few volcanoes ..."

Part Two Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize

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p. 111

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4 Mexico

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pp. 113-171

"The R

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5 Guatemala

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pp. 172-224

"For the Guatemalan equivalent of US $20 per day, a team of crusty chicle gum harvesters from the settlement of Carmelita, Pet

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6 Belize

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pp. 225-256

"On the third day of the expedition to climb Little Quartz Ridge, we began to eat snails. The leader of our eight-person expedition into southern Belize had contracted six Mopan Maya guides from the farming community of San Jos

Part Three The Future of the Maya Tropical Forest

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p. 257

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7 The Future of the Selva Maya

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pp. 259-285

"Based on the work of conservationists, archaeologists, and historians, we know that the Maya Tropical Forest is one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet and that during the pre-Columbian era, it hosted the most advanced civilization in the Western Hemisphere, that of the Classic Maya. All available evidence indicates that after a thousand years ..."

Glossary

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p. 287

References Cited

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pp. 289-311

Index

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pp. 313-323