During the past twenty years, significant progress has been made in determining the nature of the Maya script, the subjects covered in the monumental inscriptions, the grammatical structure of Maya writing, and the astronomical content of hieroglyphic texts on the monuments and in the codices. The script is unequivocally logosyllabic in nature, consisting of a mixture of logographic, syllabic, and semantic signs. The monumental texts are primarily concerned with dynastic history, including references to the births, marriages, military exploits, accessions to office, and deaths of rulers and their families, as well as the rituals that they performed. The grammar of hieroglyphic texts corresponds closely in structure to that of the Cholan and Yucatecan languages that were spoken in the region where hieroglyphs occur. And the pre-Columbian Maya were accomplished astronomers who produced complex tables for predicting solar and lunar eclipses, the stations of Venus and Mars, and solstices and equinoxes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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