The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writing

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Stephen D. Houston, Oswaldo Fernando Chinchilla Mazariegos, David Stuart
University of Oklahoma Press, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 551 pages
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The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writing is an important story of intellectual discovery and a tale of code breaking comparable to the interpreting of Egyptian hieroglyphs and the decoding of cuneiform. Using classic articles taken from publications unavailable to most readers, accounts by Spaniards who witnessed the writing of the glyphs and research by twentieth-century scholars--from Tatiana Proskouriakoff to Michael Coe--this book provides a history of the interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs. Introductory essays offer the historical context and describe the personalities and theories of the many authors who contributed to the understanding of these ancient glyphs.

More than two hundred line drawings illustrate the text and serve as an introduction to decipherment. This landmark work in Maya studies is the first book to examine the centuries of thought behind the decoding of Maya hieroglyphs.

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
DISCOVERY
21
THE NATURE OF MAYA WRITING
95
PRINCIPLES OF DECIPHERMENT
153
TIME
207
HISTORY
267
SUPERNATURAL
417
OBJECTS
463
Epilogue
505
Index
543
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Stephen D. Houston, University Professor of Anthropology at Brigham Young University, is the author of "Reading the Past: Maya Glyphs, Hieroglyphs & History at Dos Pilas: Dynastic Politics of the Classic Maya" & coauthor of "Classic Maya Place Names".

David Stuart is Associate Director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Project, Peabody Museum, Harvard University & coauthor of "Classic Maya Place Names".

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