Publication Date: November 25, 2001
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Many accounts portray the conquest of the New World as a remarkable military achievement, with Cortés' vastly outnumbered but better armed Spaniards defeating hordes of superstitious savages. However, the reality of these events is far more complex and no less significant. The first Conquistadors who had sailed in search of prosperity, inspired by dreams of unlimited riches, soon became disillusioned and restless. With disease rampant, resources exhausted, and the Caribbean populations dwindling, they had little alternative but to find new territories and peoples to exploit. This title shows how, bolstered by influxes of war-hardened veterans from Europe and an army of over 30,000 allied Indian troops, they came to rely on and perfect what they knew best - killing for profit, and without mercy.
Dr. John Pohl has conducted numerous archaeological excavations and surveys in Mexico and Central America as well as the Catalan region of southern France. Dr. Pohl is noted for bringing the ancient past to life using a wide variety of innovative skills and techniques ranging from museum exhibitions for Princeton University, the Getty, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to film productions for the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Dreamworks. In addition to his work in education through public media, he currently serves as Adjunct Full Professor in the Department of Art History at UCLA.