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Motagua Colonial
by Lawrence H. Feldman, Ph.D.
ISBN: 978-1-886420-51-9

The Classic era centers of Quirigua and Copan are the eastern most outposts of early Mayan civilization. The Middle Motagua served as the source of Mesoamerica's most precious material. It was the home of the jade that was so highly valued by ancient peoples.

With the fall, close to 1000 A.D. of Quirigua, Copan and their satellite communities, the lands of the Motagua drainage descend into an ahistorical void . Not until the end of the Hispanic colonial era do these lands receive any but the most cursory historical treatment. It is the intention of this book to explore this unknown time between the fall of the ancient cities and independence of Guatemala from the Spanish Crown.

By using the earliest documents we can look at the end of prehistory, the culture that the Spaniards found upon their arrival among the Toquegua of the Motagua delta. The colonial era was neither a static backwater nor a time of uninterrupted prosperity (or disaster).

Administrative papers tell of conditions in the towns along the busy riverine route between Spain and the Guatemalan capital and life in the tobacco and cacao lands that surrounded the old site of Copan. The story of this past, and looking for information on this past, is the subject of this volume


Cover art by Joel Barr

BOSON BOOKS also offers The War Against Epidemics in Colonial Guatemala, 1519-1821 by Lawrence Feldman.

About the Author

Lawrence H. Feldman received a B.A. in History and Anthropology from San Diego State University in 1964, M.A. in Anthropology from UCLA in 1966, Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 1971 and a M.L.S. from Catholic University of America in 1992.

He taught at Gettysburg College Pennsylvania, was Museum Director at the University of Missouri-Columbia and, for more than twenty years, has been a freelance archival researcher, translator, indexer, and writer. Awards include a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Fulbright Research Award. Feldman s initial fieldwork in Guatemala was in 1969 as an archaeologist with the Kaminaljuyu project of Pennsylvania State University. Subsequently the focus of his work shifted into ethnohistory and he has directed National Endowment for the Humanities, United States National Holocaust Museum, and Organization of American States archival survey projects.