Breaking the Maya Code

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2012-02-17
  • Publisher: THAMES&HUD

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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 '¬Sbreaking 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 Biography

Michael D. Coe is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Curator Emeritus in the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University. His many other books include The Maya, Mexico, and The True History of Chocolate (with Sophie D. Coe), all published by Thames Hudson.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 7
Prologuep. 9
The Word Made Visiblep. 13
Lords of the Forestp. 46
A Jungle Civilization Rediscoveredp. 73
Forefathers: The Dawn of Deciphermentp. 99
The Age of Thompsonp. 123
A New Wind from the Eastp. 145
The Age of Proskouriakoff: The Maya Enter Historyp. 167
Pakal's Peoplep. 193
Down into Xibalbáp. 217
A New Dawnp. 230
A Look Backward, A View Forwardp. 257
Envoip. 274
Proskouriakoffs "Suggested Order of Discussion"p. 275
The Maya Syllabic Chartp. 277
Notesp. 282
Glossaryp. 288
Sources of Illustrationsp. 290
Further Reading and Bibliographyp. 292
Indexp. 300
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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