20 Nov 2017
There are some exceptional books that recount Mexico’s local history in the Yucatan. Books cover the Mayan Ruins, life in the Yucatan, Mayan women, and the unique culture found in the Yucatan Peninsula. We continue to find new titles that outline local history, but always come back to our first reads that inspired us to explore over 20 years ago.
Here are a list of interesting books that can travel with you as historical references, or can be your beach read while on vacation. These are not travel books, they are historical fiction and archeologists accounts of their travels through the Yucatan conducted over a century ago.
Know before you Go!
Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Vols. I and II – John L. Stephens – Stephens’ two expeditions to Mexico and Central America in 1839 and 1841 is the first information on the Mayan culture. The books document his archeological discoveries and exploration of Mayan ruins with illustrations by Frederick Catherwood.
Digging in Yucatan – Ann Axtell Morris – Set in 1924 just after the Mexican Revolution, Ann and her husband Earl Halstead Morris are in the Yucatan reconstructing the Temple of the Warriors in Chichen Itza through the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Ancient history comes alive and readers understand fieldwork. Earl H. Morris also published work from this expedition in two volumes entitled Temple of the Warriors.
The Black Middle: Africans, Mayas, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatan– Matthew Restall – The author makes expert use of Spanish and Maya language documents from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries to highlight the stories of people ignored by historians. He explores such topics as slavery and freedom through the history of Hacienda life in the Yucatan.
Great read to enjoy while relaxingunder a palm tree :)