Author: Michael D. Coe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2012-02-27
The inside story of one of the great intellectual breakthroughs of our time—the first great decipherment of an ancient script—now revised and updated. In the past dozen years, Maya decipherment has made great strides, in part due to the Internet, which has made possible the truly international scope of hieroglyphic scholarship: glyphic experts can be found not only in North America, Mexico, Guatemala, and western Europe but also in Russia and the countries of eastern Europe. The third edition of this classic book takes up the thorny question of when and where the Maya script first appeared in the archaeological record, and describes efforts to decipher its meaning on the extremely early murals of San Bartolo. It includes iconographic and epigraphic investigations into how the Classic Maya perceived and recorded the human senses, a previously unknown realm of ancient Maya thought and perception. There is now compelling documentary and historical evidence bearing on the question of why and how the “breaking of the Maya code” was the achievement of Yuri V. Knorosov—a Soviet citizen totally isolated behind the Iron Curtain—and not of the leading Maya scholar of his day, Sir Eric Thompson. What does it take to make such a breakthrough, with a script of such complexity as the Maya? We now have some answers, as Michael Coe demonstrates here.
Author: Michael D. Coe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2005-06-17
Genre: Social Science
The breaking of the Maya code has completely changed our knowledge of this ancient civilization, and has revealed the Maya people's long and vivid history. Decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing has progressed to the point where most Maya written texts—whether inscribed on monuments, written in the codices, or painted or incised on ceramics—can now be read with confidence. In this practical guide, first published in 2001, Michael D. Coe, the noted Mayanist, and Mark Van Stone, an accomplished calligrapher, have made the difficult, often mysterious script accessible to the nonspecialist. They decipher real Maya texts, and the transcriptions include a picture of the glyph, the pronunciation, the Maya words in Roman type, and the translation into English. For the second edition, the authors have taken the latest research and breakthroughs into account, adding glyphs, updating captions, and reinterpreting or expanding upon earlier decipherments. After an introductory discussion of Maya culture and history and the nature of the Maya script, the authors introduce the glyphs in a series of chapters that elaborate on topics such as the intricate calendar, warfare, royal lives and rituals, politics, dynastic names, ceramics, relationships, and the supernatural world. The book includes illustrations of historic texts, a syllabary, a lexicon, and translation exercises.
Author: Michael Coe
Publisher: Harry N Abrams Incorporated
Release Date: 1998-02-01
To the four great calligraphic traditions - ancient Egyptian, East Asian, Islamic, and western European - is now added a fifth: that of the ancient Maya. Long known but little understood, Maya writing has now largely been deciphered, leading to a new understanding of the Maya scribes and the society in which they lived. This volume is the first to make full use of the latest research and the first to consider Maya writing both aesthetically and in terms of its meaning. Michael D. Coe begins by examining the origins and character of the script. He then explores the world of the scribes and "keepers of the holy books", decoding their depiction in Maya art and describing the mediums in which they worked, their tools, and techniques.
Author: María Longhena
Publisher: Abbeville Press
Release Date: 2000
By the time Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico in the sixteenth century, Maya cities had long since fallen into a state of decay and abandonment. Europeans were impressed by the painted books of the Maya but concluded that they did not have a system of writing because no alphabetic value could be given to their script. This impression remained in the West until recently when researchers finally succeeded in deciphering the written record of the Mayas. Maya Script presents about 200 Maya glyphs (symbolic figures). Some are ideograms (pictorial symbols representing things, not words); others are phonetic signs. The glyphs express people, animals, things, and such abstract concepts as death. Each one opens a window onto fragments of everyday life, religious beliefs, or even emotions. The complexity of the Maya calendar, mathematical computations, and astronomy reveals a highly developed civilization. This book also features two-color drawings of the glyphs, illustrations from reliefs and Spanish codices, and examples of Maya sculpture and paintings. Concluding the book is a chapter on writing systems of the New World, a list of museums to visit, a bibliography, and an index of glyphs. This informative book is a travelogue back in time for anyone intrigued by ancient civilizations.
Author: Carolyn E. Tate
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2013-08-28
Genre: Social Science
As archaeologists peel away the jungle covering that has both obscured and preserved the ancient Maya cities of Mexico and Central America, other scholars have only a limited time to study and understand the sites before the jungle, weather, and human encroachment efface them again, perhaps forever. This urgency underlies Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, Carolyn Tate's comprehensive catalog and analysis of all the city's extant buildings and sculptures. During a year of field work, Tate fully documented the appearance of the site as of 1987. For each sculpture and building, she records its discovery, present location, condition, measurements, and astronomical orientation and reconstructs its Long Counts and Julian dates from Calendar Rounds. Line drawings and photographs provide a visual document of the art and architecture of Yaxchilan. More than mere documentation, however, the book explores the phenomenon of art within Maya society. Tate establishes a general framework of cultural practices, spiritual beliefs, and knowledge likely to have been shared by eighth-century Maya people. The process of making public art is considered in relation to other modes of aesthetic expression, such as oral tradition and ritual. This kind of analysis is new in Maya studies and offers fresh insight into the function of these magnificent cities and the powerful role public art and architecture play in establishing cultural norms, in education in a semiliterate society, and in developing the personal and community identities of individuals. Several chapters cover the specifics of art and iconography at Yaxchilan as a basis for examining the creation of the city in the Late Classic period. Individual sculptures are attributed to the hands of single artists and workshops, thus aiding in dating several of the monuments. The significance of headdresses, backracks, and other costume elements seen on monuments is tied to specific rituals and fashions, and influence from other sites is traced. These analyses lead to a history of the design of the city under the reigns of Shield Jaguar (A.D. 681-741) and Bird Jaguar IV (A.D. 752-772). In Tate's view, Yaxchilan and other Maya cities were designed as both a theater for ritual activities and a nexus of public art and social structures that were crucial in defining the self within Maya society.
"Well-told story of a life dedicated to scholarship, with great adventures and derring-do an unexpected bonus." - Kirkus Reviews From 1827 Henry Rawlinson, fearless soldier, sportsman and imperial adventurer of the first rank, spent twenty-five years in India, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan in the service of the East India Company. During this time he survived the dangers of disease and warfare, including the disastrous First Anglo-Afghan War. A gifted linguist, fascinated by history and exploration, he became obsessed with cuneiform, the world's earliest writing. An immense inscription high on a sheer rock face at Bisitun in the mountains of western Iran, carved on the orders of King Darius the Great of Persia over 2,000 years ago, was the key to understanding the many cuneiform scripts and languages. Only Rawlinson had the physical and intellectual skills, courage, self-motivation and opportunity to make the perilous ascent and copy the monument. Here, Lesley Adkins relates the story of Rawlinson's life and how he triumphed in deciphering the lost languages of Persia and Babylonia, overcoming his brilliant but bitter rival, Edward Hincks. While based in Baghdad, Rawlinson became involved in the very first excavations of the ancient mounds of Mesopotamia, from Nineveh to Babylon, an area that had been fought over by so many powerful empires. His decipherment of the inscriptions resurrected unsuspected civilizations, revealing intriguing details of everyday life and forgotten historical events. By proving to the astonished Victorian public that people and places in the Old Testament really existed (and, furthermore, that documents and chronicles had survived from well before the writing of the Bible), Rawlinson became a celebrity and assured his own place in history.
Author: Amalia E. Gnanadesikan
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-09-13
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
In a world of rapid technological advancements, it can be easy to forget that writing is the original Information Technology, created to transcend the limitations of human memory and to defy time and space. The Writing Revolution picks apart the development of this communication tool to show how it has conquered the world. Explores how writing has liberated the world, making possible everything from complex bureaucracy, literature, and science, to instruction manuals and love letters Draws on an engaging range of examples, from the first cuneiform clay tablet, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Japanese syllabaries, to the printing press and the text messaging Weaves together ideas from a number of fields, including history, cultural studies and archaeology, as well as linguistics and literature, to create an interdisciplinary volume Traces the origins of each of the world’s major written traditions, along with their applications, adaptations, and cultural influences
Author: John Montgomery
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Foreign Language Study
The ancient Maya civilisation of Mesoamerica was one of five in the history of the world to invent an original, functional writing system. Maya scribes documented the history of their civilisation in hieroglyphic script, yet by the nineteenth century there was not a single person left who could read this pictorial writing. After two centuries of intensive questioning, debate and research by experts and novices alike, the script has been almost fully recovered -- one of the most significant historical discoveries of the twentieth century. Serving as both an introduction to the script and a convenient reference to its basic features and symbols, this book is designed for amateurs and specialists, including general readers, travellers to the Maya areas, and participants in hieroglyphic workshops.
Author: Sophie D. Coe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2013-06-28
“A beautifully written . . . and illustrated history of the Food of the Gods, from the Olmecs to present-day developments.”—Chocolatier This delightful tale of one of the world’s favorite foods draws on botany, archaeology, and culinary history to present a complete and accurate history of chocolate. It begins some 4,000 years ago in the jungles of Mexico and Central America with the chocolate tree, Theobroma Cacao, and the complex processes necessary to transform its bitter seeds into what is now known as chocolate. This was centuries before chocolate was consumed in generally unsweetened liquid form and used as currency by the Maya and the Aztecs after them. The Spanish conquest of Central America introduced chocolate to Europe, where it first became the drink of kings and aristocrats and then was popularized in coffeehouses. Industrialization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries made chocolate available to all, and now, in our own time, it has become once again a luxury item. The third edition includes new photographs and revisions throughout that reflect the latest scholarship. A new final chapter on a Guatemalan chocolate producer, located within the Pacific coastal area where chocolate was first invented, brings the volume up-to-date.
Author: J. Richard Gentry
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books
Release Date: 2006-01-01
In his most important book to date, Gentry combines cutting-edge, brain-based research with sound classroom knowledge to explore early literacy development. Starting with the crucial interrelationship of reading and writing, he looks inside and out at the minds of emerging readers to find out how they construct the idea and process of reading. Then he presents a blueprint for instruction and early intervention that combines his new findings with best-practice teaching. His comprehensive instructional model focuses on building the specific skills, capacities, and experiences kids need by teaching them to write as they learn to read. Gentry gives you everything you need to implement successful beginning reading strategies as well as a variety of effective tips for supporting readers and writers throughout the primary grades
Author: Dennis Tedlock
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2011-11-04
"Never before has anyone focused so successfully on the literary genius of these ancient authors. Tedlock is so much more than a translator, placing selected Mayan works in a continuous narrative that skillfully links authors from the third century to the sixteenth century with writers of today. An extremely important, original, and innovative work."—Martha J. Macri, coauthor of The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volumes 1 and 2, and Director of the Maya Hieroglyphic Database Project, University of California, Davis "A stunning recreation of the intellectual world of the ancient Maya, the only fully literate people of pre-Columbian America. Informed by the latest research on Maya hieroglyphic writing, art, and mythology, this beautifully illustrated and wonderfully readable work by an outstanding scholar should be on the bookshelf of all those interested in this fascinating civilization."—Michael Coe, author of Breaking the Maya Code "This book is, like the ancient Maya texts and images it explores, a work of art."—David Freidel, co-author (with Linda Schele and Joy Parker) of Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman’s Path "Literally breathtaking. A truly unprecedented gathering and translation of written Mayan texts. Tedlock is making visible, for the first time, a Mayan literature in comprehensible, meaningful form.”"—Jerome Rothenberg, poet, author/editor of Technicians of the Sacred and Poems for the Millennium
A book perfectly timed for the re-setting of the Maya calendar in 2012.... Part history, popular science, armchair travel, and real-life treasure hunt, this is the story of pre-Columbian jade—the precious stone revered by ancient Aztecs, Incans, and Maya—and the scientists, collectors, explorers and entrepreneurs who have been searching for the mythical jade mines for more than a century. “A compelling tale.... This well-focused and well-told account brings America’s most mythologized gemstone into sharp relief.” —Wall Street Journal “[T]he story of the search for the long-vanished mines of the Mayas . . . [with] engaging digressions into plate tectonics, the technology of jade carving and the brutal history of the regimes of a succession of Guatemalan generals. . . . [Prospectors] Ridinger and Johnson endured earthquakes, coups, kidnapping, even civil war. But eventually they stumbled upon huge blocks of the alluring, elusive stone.” —New York Times Book Review Selected as an Indie Next List “Great Read” “The search for the sources of this mysterious rock reads like detective fiction, and involves geologists, archaeologists, entrepreneurs, poachers, and a host of other characters, but it’s all true. A wonderful read!” —Michael D. Coe, author of Breaking the Maya Code
Author: Muriel Porter Weaver
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Social Science
This is a thorough revision of the successful Second Edition and includes both Aztec and Maya areas in one volume. It covers the period from the European settling of the New World to the Spanish Conquest of Mexico in 1521, as well as the deciphering of Maya hieroglyphs that reveal dynastic history, and recent discoveries and excavations at Rio Azul and Naj Tunich in Guatemala, Caracol in Belize, and Mexico. The Third Edition of this successful introduction to the archaeology of Mesoamerica includes full coverage of the Aztec and Maya areas in one volume. Beginning with the settling of the New World and continuing through the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica in 1521, this completely updated textbook contains information on decipherment of the Maya hieroglyphs, excavation in Belize and Honduras as well as in Guatemala. News from Mexico, including the west, refocuses ideas on writing, murals, architecture, and the Olmec. The latest information on new approaches, theories, sites, and areas of investigation. This information reflects the work of a new generation of researchers whose recent discoveries have shed additional light on many of the ideas that have shaped the last fifty years of Mesoamerican archaeology. Includes deciphering of Maya hieroglyphs, the dynamic history of the Maya, the new royal tomb excavated at Copan, Honduras, important new discoveries at Rio Azul and Naj Tunich in Guatemala, and Caracol in Belize, ritual sacrifices on a massive scale revealed at Teotihuacan in central Mexico, new material from Tula (Toltec capitol) and from the heart of Mexico City. Key Features * All-in-one textbook covering the Aztecs (central Mexico) and the Maya (Yucatan and Central America) in one volume * Spans the period from the settling of the New World until the Spanish Conquest of Mexico in 1521 * Shows the growth and collapse of the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec empires * Includes a chapter on Mesoamerica's relationship to the northeast (southeastern United States) and to the Andean region of South America * Illustrates the importance of trade, domestication of plants, and the rise of urbanism in relation to other cultures in the New World
Author: R. B. Parkinson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Deciphering the Rosetta Stone -- Reading a text: the Egyptian scripts of the Rosetta Stone -- Towards reading a cultural code: the uses of writing in ancient Egypt -- The future: futher codes to crack.