From the publisher's blurb:
Professor Van Weathers has just revolutionized the teaching of Maya archaeology. His lifelike computer simulation Xibalbá Gate places his students in the world of the Late Classic Maya, where political strife, overpopulation, warfare, and social disorganization are in evidence in the soon-to-collapse civilization. Weathers' real life is also under strain-- his wife is disenchanted, his son a cynic, his students disinterested, his excavation project blocked by a mysterious Latin American holding company. No wonder he loses himself in the world of King Knot Eye of Xultunich for days on end.
But the real world problems magnify--a murder, an illness, an explosion-- while he tries to negotiate a treaty with a neighboring city, marry the king's daughter, and engage in a bloodletting ceremony to right a world out of balance. Can he solve the rapidly-merging problems of his virtual world and the modern one while the Nine Lords of Xibalbá, rulers of the Maya underworld, are on the loose?
This novel/textbook by noted writer and futurist Rob Swigart offers both an accurate reconstruction of Maya life for introductory archaeology students and an entertaining read for those interested in the Maya world.
Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, June 2005 ($26.95 Paper 0-7591-0879-X; $72.00 Cloth 0-7591-0878-1)