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Stone of Kings: In Search of the Lost Jade of the Maya
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Stone of Kings: In Search of the Lost Jade of the Maya

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  43 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A gripping account of the 400-year-old quest for the precious stone revered by the ancient Maya Jade has long been prized as one of the most precious substances on earth, used to adorn kings, cure disease, and perform sacred rituals, including human sacrifice. For millennia, it played a crucial role in the culture of the Maya and other ancient Americans, but the Spanish lu ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Lyons Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Mar 03, 2012 Duff rated it really liked it
I was absorbed in the search for the sources of Maya and Olmec jade...astonishingly. I had no prior interest, just found this book in the "new" section of my public library. The scope of the book is the archeology, but gives fascinating side trips about scientific processes,geology, and the cultural and social implications of the stone. The author combines a neat detective story with nice awareness of the ex-pat community in Mexico/Guatemala. I was surprised at how involved I got in this story. ...more
Mar 26, 2016 Caroline rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-history
Who would have thought a book about a rock could be so interesting? Even a rock as valued and beautiful as jade is still a rock to me, and yet I could hardly put this book down. Much of that can be attributed to the skill of the author in crafting a tale that is part archaeology, part geology, part history, part treasure hunt, and wholly enthralling.

From the history of the Olmec and Mayan peoples to the more recent brutal civil war in Guatemala, with digressions on mineralogy, plate tectonics,
May 21, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: latin-america
This is actually a 3.5. It's a quick, well-written read on a very specific subject: the rediscovery of jade deposits in Guatemala. It was useful to me as a light introduction to Olmec and Mayan civilizations but as much as I enjoy a good science-y read, I skipped past the very technical chemical discussions of gemstone verification (though I enjoyed the section on plate tectonics).

I'd also note, just when you realize all this adventuring and prospecting is happening in the midst of a civil war,
Jan 07, 2012 judy rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a story someone might like but that would not be me. I could have discovered what I wanted to know about the Maya, Olmecs and mesoamerican jade in 50 pages. The author has information, some of it new, but of footnote importance. I understand why he felt he had to write it but am astounded anyone published it. In defense of the author, the mesoamerican Classic period is an era about which little is known but much is surmised.
Feb 06, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
Though I wondered if there was enough to make a book I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting this book was. It helps to have a bit pf previous knowledge of the Maya and Olmec culture, otherwise it would be confusing.
It made me want to look up Guatemalan jade and find a piece of my own, so I suppose it accomplished its purpose.
Janette Mcmahon
May 21, 2014 Janette Mcmahon rated it liked it
I did not know much about the history of jade in Central America and this was a good overview. It was interesting to read about different explorers and theories, with the understanding no one has an answer. Jade continues to be a mysterious stone in the world today.
Thomas Ryan
Sep 28, 2016 Thomas Ryan rated it really liked it
A really interesting book about Central America
More adventure than archaeology made this book a bit of a disappointment to me. With that said, it's an entertaining read.
Ashley rated it really liked it
Dec 02, 2011
Jun 09, 2012 Ann rated it liked it
Interesting story of jade in Central America and its impact on ancient cultures.
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