Learning is an important part of our mission at CLAAS. For those just starting out or looking for some review, browse through this comprehensive list of books recomended to and by members. We are expanding this bibliography given our new territory in South America.


GENERAL MESOAMERICA (Histories, Archaeology, Art)

Baquedano, Elizabeth P.
2015. Tezcatlipoca: Trickster And Supreme Deity. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Benson, Elizabeth P.
1972. The Cult Of the Feline; A Conference in Pre-Columbian Iconography, October 31st and November 1st, 1970. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington D.C.

Bernal-Garcia, Maria Elena
1993. Carving Mountains in a Blue/Green Bowl: Mythological Urban Planning in Mesoamerica. Ph.D dissertation. University of Texas, Austin.

Brown, Kathryn M. and Travis W. Stanton
2003. Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.

Brundage, Burr Cartwright
1912. The Phoenix of the Western World: Quetzalcoatl and the Sky Religion. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

Carrasco, David
1990. Religions Of Mesoamerica: Cosmovision and Ceremonial Centers. Religious Traditions Of the World. Harper & Row, San Francisco.

Chacon, Richard J. and Ruben G. Mendoza
2007. Latin American Indigenous Warfare And Ritual Violence. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Chase, Arlen F. and Diane Z. Chase
1992. Mesoamerican Elites: An Archeological Assessment. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

Cheek, Charles D.
1975. Political Themes On Mesoamerican Monuments: A Case Study. American Antiquity 40(3):320–326.

Fash, William L. and Leonardo López Luján
2005. The art of urbanism: How Mesoamerican kingdoms represented themselves in architecture and imagery. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C.

Fields, Virginia M., John M. D. Pohl, and Victoria I. Lyall
2012. Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.

Finegold, Andrew
2012. Dramatic Renditions: Battle Murals And the Struggle for Elite Legitimacy in Epiclassic Mesoamerica. Ph.D. dissertation, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, New York City.

Flannery, Kent V.
1976. The Early Mesoamerican Village. Academic Press, New York.

Flannery, Kent V. and Joyce Marcus.
2000. Formative Mexican Chiefdoms and the Myth of “Mother Culture.” Journal of Anthropological Archeology 19:1-37.

Garcia, Santiago Andres
2011. Early Representations of Mesoamerica's Feathered Serpent: Power, Identity, and the Spread of a Cult.” M.A. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, California University, Fullerton.

Grove, David C. and Rosemary A. Joyce
1999. Social Patterns in Pre-Classic Mesoamerica. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C.

Guernsey, Julia, John E. Clark, and Barbara Arroyo
2010. The Place of Stone Monuments: Context, Use, and Meaning in Mesoamerica’s Preclassic Transition. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C.

Hassig, Ross
1992. War And Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Love, Michael, Marion Popenoe de Hatch, and Héctor L. Escobedo A.
2002. Incidents of Archaeology in Central America and Yucatan: Essays in Honor of Edwin M. Shook. University Press of America, Lanham.

Miller, Arthur G.
1981. Highland-Lowland Interaction In Mesoamerica: Interdisciplinary Approaches; A Conference at Dumbarton Oaks October 18th and 19th, 1980. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C.

Nichols, Deborah L. and Christopher A. Pool
2012. The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archeology. Oxford University Press, New York.

Nicholson, H.B.
1976. Origins Of Religious Art and Iconography in Preclassic Mesoamerica. UCLA Latin American Center Publications, Los Angeles.

Orr, Heather S. and Rex Koontz
2009. Blood And Beauty: Organized Violence in the Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica and Central America. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles.

Politis, Gustavo G. and Benjamin Alberti
1999. Archeology in Latin America. Routledge, London.

Pope, Elizabeth Irene
2006. Mythic Architecture and Drama in Ancient Mesoamerica: The Manifestation of the Mythological Landscape in the Historical World. Ph.D dissertation. University of Texas, Austin.

Robertson, Merle Grene
1980. Third Palenque Round Table, 1978: Part 2. The Texas Pan American Series. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Saunders, Nicholas J.
1998. Icons Of Power: Feline Symbolism in the Americas. Routledge, London.

Umaña, Frederico A. Paredes
2012. Local Symbols and Regional Dynamics: The Jaguar Head Core Zone in Southeastern Mesoamerica During the Late Preclassic. Ph.D. thesis. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Witschey, Walter R. T. and Clifford T. Brown
2012. Historical Dictionary of Mesoamerica. Scarecrow Press, Lanham.


GULF COAST (El Tajín, Tres Zapotes, San Lorenzo, La Venta, Olmec)

Becker, Kimberly
1996. The Olmec Were-Jaguar in Transformation: An Examination of the Image of the Jaguar in Olmec Art and Culture. M.A. thesis. California State University, Long Beach.

Benson, Elizabeth P.
1967. Dumbarton Oaks Conference on the Olmec October 28th and 29th, 1967. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C.

Flannery, Kent V. and Joyce Marcus.
2003. The Cloud People: Divergent Evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec Civilizations. Percheron Press, New York.

Koontz, Rex.
2009. Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents: The Public Sculpture of El Tajín. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Sharer, Robert J. and David C. Grove.
1989. Regional Perspectives on the Olmec. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Taube, Karl A.
2004. Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C.

Wicke, Charles R.
1971. Olmec: An Early Art Style of Precolumbian Mexico. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.


BASIN OF MEXICO (Tula, Teotihuacan Tlatilco, Cuicuilco, Xochicalco, Chalcatzingo, Cholula, Tlapacoya, Caxcatla)

Austin, Alfredo López, Leonardo López Luján, and Saburo Sugiyama.
1991. The Temple Of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan: Its Possible Ideological Significance. Ancient Mesoamerica 2(1):93–105.

Berlin, Kathleen and Esther Pasztory.
1993. Teotihuacan: Art From the City of the Gods. Thames and Hudson, London.

Berlo, Janet Catherine.
1992. Art, Ideology, and the City of Teotihuacan: a Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 8th and 9th October 1988. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.

Berrin, Kathleen.
1988. Feathered Serpents And Flowering Trees: Reconstructing the Murals of Teotihuacan. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco.

Boekel, Dieuwertje van 2013. Rulers of the sky: An iconographical analysis of Formative feline imagery in Chalcatzingo, Morelos, Mexico. RMA thesis, University of Leiden, Leiden.

Braswell, Geoffrey E.
2003. The Maya And Teotihuacan: Reinterpreting Early Classic Interaction. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Brittenham, Claudia.
2008. The Cacaxtla Painting Tradition: Art and Identity in Epiclassic Mexico. PhD Dissertation, Yale University, New Haven.

Brittenham, Claudia.
2015. The Murals of Cacaxtla: The Power of Painting in Ancient Central Mexico. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Browder, Jennifer Kathleen.
2005. Place of the High Painted Walls: The Tepantitla Murals and the Teotihuacan Writing System. Ph.D. dissertation. University of California, Riverside.

Coe, David C.
1987. Ancient Chalcatzingo. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Coe, Michael D.
1965. The Jaguar’s Children: Pre-Classic Central Mexico. The Museum of Primitive Art, New York. New York Graphic Society, Greenwich.

Cowgill, George L.
2007. “The Storm God, Feathered Serpents, and Possible Rulers at Teotihuacan.” tDAR.

Cowgill, George L.
2015. Ancient Teotihuacan: Early Urbanism In Central Mexico. Cambridge University Press, London.

Diehl, Richard A. and Janet Catherine Berlo.
1989. Mesoamerica after the Decline of Teotihuacan A.D. 700-900. Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington D.C.

Grove, David C.1984. Chalcatzingo: Excavations on the Olmec Frontier. Thames and Hudson, London.

Headrick, Annabeth.
2007. The Teotihuacan Trinity: The Sociopolitical Structure Of an Ancient Mesoamerican City. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Hirth, Kenneth.
1984. Xochicalco: Urban Growth and State Formation in Central Mexico. Science 225(4662):579-586.

Kristan-Graham, Cynthia.
1993. The Business of Narrative at Tula: An Analysis of the Vestibule Frieze, Trade, and Ritual. Latin American Antiquity 4(1):3-21.

Kubler, George.
1967. The Iconography Of the Art of Teotihuacan. Studies In Pre-Columbian Art and Archeology 4:1-95. Dumbarton Oaks Trustees for Harvard University, Washington D.C.

López Luján, Leonardo, Laura Filloy Nadal, Barbara Fash, William L. Fash, and Pilar Hernández.
2006. The Destruction of Images in Teotihuacan: Anthropomorphic Sculpture, Elite Cults, and the End of a Civilization. Anthropology and Aesthetics 49/50:13-39.

Millon, Rene.
1973. The Teotihuacan Map vol.
1: Part One: Text. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Nagao, Debra.
2014. An Interconnected World? Evidence Of Interaction in the Arts of Epiclassic Cacaxtla and Xochicalco, Mexico. Ph.D. dissertation, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, New York City.

Pasztory, Esther.
1997. Teotihuacan: An Experiment In Living. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

Sugiyama, Saburo.
2005. Human Sacrifice, Militarism, and Rulership: Materialization of State Ideology at the Feathered Serpent Pyramid, Teotihuacan. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Turner, Andrew David.
2016. Cultures at the Crossroads: Art, Religion, and Interregional Interaction in Central Mexico, AD 600-900. Ph.D. dissertation. University of California, Riverside.

Whitacre, Amy Michelle.
2014. The Warriors of Tula: Identity, Iconography, and the Sculpted Body. M.A. thesis. University of California, Riverside.


OAXACA (Monte Alban, San Jose Mogote, Mitla)

Elson, Christina M.
2001. Excavations at Los Mogotes, San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca: A Terminal Formative Subregional Center in the Valley of Oaxaca. Unpublished paper. FAMSI.

Marcus, Joyce and Kent V. Flannery.
1996. Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. Thames and Hudson, London.


MAYA LOWLANDS (Bonampak, Mirador, Piedras Negras, Tikal, Uaxactun, Copan, Kaminaljuyu)

Baudez, Claude-Francois.
1994. Maya Sculpture of Copan: The Iconography. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

Biglin, Karen E.
2005. Supernatural Animals of the Ancient Maya: The Serpent and the Jaguar in Art and Mythology. MA thesis. California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Borowicz, James.
2002. Images of Power and the Power of Images: Iconography of Stelae as an Indicator of Socio-Political Events in the Early Classic Maya Lowlands. Ph.D. dissertation. University of New York, Buffalo.

Braswell, Geoffrey E.
2003. The Maya And Teotihuacan: Reinterpreting Early Classic Interaction. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Browder, Erin Cathleen.
1991. A Study of Elite Costume and Emblem in Classic Maya Art. Ph.D. dissertation. University of California, Berkeley.

Cheetham, David.
1998. Interregional Interaction, Symbol Emulation, and the Emergence of Socio-Political Inequality in the Central Maya Lowlands. M.A. thesis. University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Clancy, Flora Simmons.
2009 . The Monuments of Piedras Negras, an Ancient Maya City. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Fields, Virginia Mary.
1989. The Origins of Divine Kingship Among the Lowland Classic Maya. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, Austin.

Gimblett, Jennifer Leigh.
2011. Warfare And Representation in the Classic Maya: Bonampak and Yaxchilan. BA thesis, Honors College, University of Arizona, Tucson. UA Campus Repository.

Hurst, Heather.
2009. Murals and the Ancient Maya Artist: A Study of Art Production in the Guatemalan Lowlands. Ph.D. dissertation. Yale University, New Haven.

Mathews, Jenifer P. and James F. Garber.
2004. Models of Cosmic Order: Physical expression of sacred space among the ancient Maya. Ancient Mesoamerica 15:49-59.

Miller, Mary and Claudia Brittenham.
2013. The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Ouellette, David A.
2008. Sacred Spaces, Myth, Ritual, and the Material Ideology of Kingship in the Preclassic Maya Lowlands. M.A. Thesis. Northern Illinois University, Dekalb.

Pugh, Timothy W. and Cameron L. McNeil.
2008. Discourses of Distance among the Maya. University Press of Colorado, Niwot.

Spinden, Herbert Joseph.
1957. Maya Art and Civilization. Falcon’s Wing Press, Indian Hills.

Sullivan, Mark.
2004. The Maya Origin of a Mixtec God: The Iconographic Primacy of Tezcatlipoca at Chichen Itza, Yucatan over Tula, Hildago; and Its Possible Derivation from God K-K’awil. Masters Thesis, University of Central Florida, Orlando.



Barnes, William Landon.
2009. Icons of Empire: The Art and History of Aztec Royal Presentation. Ph.D. dissertation. Tulane University, New Orleans.

Bray, Warwick.
1968. Everyday Life of The Aztecs. B.T. Batsford Ltd., London.

Carrasco, David.
1982. Quetzalcoatl And the Irony of Empire: Myths and Prophecies in the Aztec Tradition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Conrad, Geoffrey W. and Arthur A. Demarest.
1984. Religion and Empire: The dynamics of Aztec and Inca expansionism. Cambridge University, Cambridge.

Nicholson, Henry B.
2001. Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl: The Once and Future Lord of the Toltecs. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.