Breaking the Maya Code

Breaking the Maya Code

Book - 1992
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Baker & Taylor
The author of The Maya and Mexico interweaves the story of the struggle to decipher the complex hieroglyphic incriptions of the Maya with a close-up look at what is known about the culture of the ancient Maya civilization. 12,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Breaking the Maya Code tells the story of the last great decipherment of an ancient script. Twenty years ago the ruined monuments of Maya civilization were mute, the hieroglyphic inscriptions on magnificent stelae, temples and palaces largely unread. Today, thanks to an extraordinary scientific breakthrough, these inscribed remains are revealing a history lost to humanity for a millennium.
Michael Coe is uniquely placed to give the inside story of this revolution in understanding. Himself a world-renowned Maya scholar, he has known or worked with all the main protagonists over the last thirty years: Yuri Knorosov, the brilliant Russian philologist who opened the way to reading the records; Eric Thompson, the dominant Mayanist of his generation, who vehemently opposed Knorosov; and the succeeding scholars who have vindicated the Russian's pioneer work. Coe interweaves a riveting tale of intellectual attack and counterattack with a full overview of what we now know about the ancient Maya themselves. Far from being the simple, peace-loving stargazers of Thompson's imagination, they emerge as a much more complex culture: obsessed with warfare, dynastic rivalries and ritual bloodletting, yet creators of supreme masterpieces in art and architecture.
Numerous examples of Maya writing, as well as enlightening comparisons with other great decipherments, illuminate the narrative. This is a superbly readable detective story, a challenging and informed account of one of the most exciting intellectual adventures of our age.

& Taylor

Traces the history of the struggle to decipher the Mayan language, describes the conflicting approaches, and explains what Mayan inscriptions reveal about their culture

Publisher: New York : Thames and Hudson, [1992]
Copyright Date: ©1992
ISBN: 9780500050613
Branch Call Number: 497.415 COE
Characteristics: 304 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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