Reading Maya Art

A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Maya Painting and Sculpture
Author: Andrea Joyce Stone,Marc Zender
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780500051689
Category: Art
Page: 248
View: 2985
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Presented here for the first time is a compendium of one hundred hieroglyphs that are also building blocks of ancient Maya painting and sculpture. Organized thematically, the symbols touch on many facets of the Maya world, from the natural environment animals, plants, the heavens to the metaphysical landscape of gods, myths and rituals. Using over five hundred line drawings and photographs, Andrea Stone and Marc Zender show how to identify these signs, understand their meaning, and appreciate the novel ways they appear in art. In addition to providing a clear and accessible introduction to Maya art, linguistics and writing, the authors also offer many new and exciting interpretations. Lavishly illustrated, fully cross-referenced and indexed, this remarkable and innovative guide will prove an invaluable tool for those wishing to see Maya art, perhaps for the first time, through the eyes of ancient scribes and artists.

Images from the Underworld

Naj Tunich and the Tradition of Maya Cave Painting
Author: Andrea J. Stone
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292786972
Category: Social Science
Page: 304
View: 2384
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In 1979, a Kekchi Maya Indian accidentally discovered the entrance to Naj Tunich, a deep cave in the Maya Mountains of El Peten, Guatemala. One of the world's few deep caves that contain rock art, Naj Tunich features figural images and hieroglyphic inscriptions that have helped to revolutionize our understanding of ancient Maya art and ritual. In this book, Andrea Stone takes a comprehensive look at Maya cave painting from Preconquest times to the Colonial period. After surveying Mesoamerican cave and rock painting sites and discussing all twenty-five known painted caves in the Maya area, she focuses extensively on Naj Tunich. Her text analyzes the images and inscriptions, while photographs and line drawings provide a complete visual catalog of the cave art, some of which has been subsequently destroyed by vandals. This important new body of images and texts enlarges our understanding of the Maya view of sacred landscape and the role of caves in ritual. It will be important reading for all students of the Maya, as well as for others interested in cave art and in human relationships with the natural environment.

Reading the Maya Glyphs (Second Edition)


Author: Michael D. Coe,Mark Van Stone
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 0500773335
Category: Social Science
Page: 176
View: 8013
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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.

Politics of the Maya Court

Hierarchy and Change in the Late Classic Period
Author: Sarah E. Jackson
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806189258
Category: History
Page: 192
View: 7850
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In recent decades, advances in deciphering Maya hieroglyphic writing have given scholars new tools for understanding key aspects of ancient Maya society. This book—the first comprehensive examination of the Maya royal court—exemplifies the importance of these new sources. Authored by anthropologist Sarah E. Jackson and richly illustrated with drawings, photographs, and maps, Politics of the Maya Court uses hieroglyphic and iconographic evidence to explore the composition and social significance of royal courts in the Late Classic period (a.d. 600–900), with a special emphasis on the role of courtly elites. As Jackson explains, the Maya region of southern Mexico and Central America was not a unified empire but a loosely aggregated culture area composed of independent kingdoms. Royal courts had a presence in large, central communities from Chiapas to Yucatan and the highlands of Guatemala and western Honduras. Each major polity was ruled by a k’uhul ajaw, or holy lord, who embodied intertwined aspects of religious and political authority. The hieroglyphic texts that adorned walls, furniture, and portable items in these centers of power provide specific information about the positions, roles, and meanings of the courts. Jackson uses these documents as keys to understanding Classic Maya political hierarchy and, specifically, the institution of the royal court. Within this context, she investigates the lives of the nobility and the participation of elites in court politics. By identifying particular individuals and their life stories, Jackson humanizes Maya society, showing how events resulted from the actions and choices of specific people. Jackson’s innovative portrayal of court membership provides a foundation for scholarship on the nature, functions, and responsibilities of Maya royal courts.

Yaxchilan

The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City
Author: Carolyn E. Tate
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292739125
Category: Social Science
Page: 328
View: 4070
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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.

Courtly art of the ancient Maya

children's guide
Author: N.A
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Central America
Page: 16
View: 1894
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Palenque

Recent Investigations at the Classic Maya Center
Author: Damien B. Marken
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 0759113858
Category: Social Science
Page: 320
View: 1671
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Collection of articles on recent excavations and studies of one of the best known Maya archaeological sites

Maya

Divine Kings of the Rain Forest
Author: Nikolai Grube
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9783833143397
Category: Central America
Page: 480
View: 9844
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Lost cities in the jungle and towering temple pyramids form only a small part of Mayan culture. This fascinating people achieved the landmarks of an advanced civilisation - such as a highly developed writing system and densely populated cities - in the classical period (AD 300-600), earning them a place among the greatest civilisations in the world. However, this period represents just one phase in the history of the Mayan culture, which extends over thousands of years. Our knowledge of Mayan life has increased dramatically in recent decades. As a result, specialists from a wide range of disciplines have contributed to this book in order to represent all of the latest research on the Maya. The contributions included in this magnificent volume range from the origins of Mayan culture all the way to today, giving insight into everyday life and religion as well as the artistic accomplishments and intellectual abilities of this important culture.

Breaking the Maya Code (Third Edition)


Author: Michael D. Coe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 0500770611
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 6446
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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.

An Album of Maya Architecture


Author: Tatiana Proskouriakoff
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486317056
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 8610
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36 sites from Central America and southern Mexico as they appeared more than a thousand years ago: Temple of the Cross, Palenque; Acropolis and Maya sweat bath, Piedras Negras; more. 95 illustrations.

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs


Author: John Montgomery
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Foreign Language Study
Page: 416
View: 8947
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This authoritative work is the first visual dictionary of Maya glyphs published since the script's complete deciphering, offering a much-needed, comprehensive catalogue of 1100 secured glyphs. Each entry includes the illustrated glyph, its phonetic transcription, Mayan equivalent, part of speech, and meaning. About the Author John Montgomery is an illustrator, epigrapher, writer, and PhD candidate in the field of Pre-Columbian Art at the University of New Mexico. He also teaches art history at the South-western Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque. A long and varied experience in Central America first inspired his interest in the ancient Maya. His glyphic illustrations based on a lifetime of involvement with Maya glyph decipherment. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Copan Sculpture Museum

Ancient Maya Artistry in Stucco and Stone
Author: Barbara W. Fash
Publisher: Peabody Museum of Archaeology &
ISBN: 9780873658584
Category: Architecture
Page: 207
View: 7402
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, Mayas -- Honduras -- Copán (Dept.) -- Antiquities, Maya sculpture -- Honduras -- Copán (Dept.), Maya architecture -- Honduras -- Copán (Dept.), Cultural property -- Protection -- Honduras -- Copán (Dept.), Historic preservation -- Honduras -- Copán (Dept.)

Maya Art and Architecture


Author: Mary Ellen Miller,Megan E. O'Neil
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780500204221
Category: Architecture
Page: 256
View: 3876
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Presents a survey of Mayan art and architecture, focusing on the classical period from 100 B.C. to 909 A.D., covering tombs, palaces, temples, and shrines, and including such art forms as ceramics, sculptures, stone reliefs, and paintings.

Translating Maya Hieroglyphs


Author: Scott A.J. Johnson
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806189401
Category: History
Page: 402
View: 9333
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Maya hieroglyphic writing may seem impossibly opaque to beginning students, but scholar Scott A. J. Johnson presents it as a regular and comprehensible system in this engaging, easy-to-follow textbook. The only comprehensive introduction designed specifically for those new to the study, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs uses a hands-on approach to teach learners the current state of Maya epigraphy. Johnson shows readers step by step how to translate ancient Maya glyphs. He begins by describing how to break down a Mayan text into individual glyphs in the correct reading order, and then explains the different types of glyphs and how they function in the script. Finally, he shows how to systematically convert a Mayan inscription into modern English. Not simply a reference volume, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs is pedagogically arranged so that it functions as an introductory foreign-language textbook. Chapters cover key topics, including spelling, dates and numbers, basic grammar, and verbs. Formal linguistic information is accessibly explained, while worksheets and exercises complement and reinforce the material covered in the text. Glyph blocks and phrases drawn from actual monuments illustrate the variety and scribal virtuosity of Maya writing. The Maya writing system has not been fully deciphered. Throughout the text, Johnson outlines and explains the outstanding disputes among Mayanists. At the end of each chapter, he offers sources for further reading. Helpful appendices provide quick reference to vocabulary, glyph meanings, and calendrical data for students undertaking a translation. The study of Maya glyphs has long been an arcane subject known only to a few specialists. This book will change that. Taking advantage of the great strides scholars have made in deciphering hieroglyphs in the past four decades, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs brings this knowledge to a broader audience, including archaeologists and budding epigraphers.

Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture

The Unborn, Women, and Creation
Author: Carolyn E. Tate
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292728522
Category: Social Science
Page: 339
View: 5345
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Recently, scholars of Olmec visual culture have identified symbols for umbilical cords, bundles, and cave-wombs, as well as a significant number of women portrayed on monuments and as figurines. In this groundbreaking study, Carolyn Tate demonstrates that these subjects were part of a major emphasis on gestational imagery in Formative Period Mesoamerica. In Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture, she identifies the presence of women, human embryos, and fetuses in monuments and portable objects dating from 1400 to 400 BC and originating throughout much of Mesoamerica. This highly original study sheds new light on the prominent roles that women and gestational beings played in Early Formative societies, revealing female shamanic practices, the generative concepts that motivated caching and bundling, and the expression of feminine knowledge in the 260-day cycle and related divinatory and ritual activities. Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture is the first study that situates the unique hollow babies of Formative Mesoamerica within the context of prominent females and the prevalent imagery of gestation and birth. It is also the first major art historical study of La Venta and the first to identify Mesoamerica's earliest creation narrative. It provides a more nuanced understanding of how later societies, including Teotihuacan and West Mexico, as well as the Maya, either rejected certain Formative Period visual forms, rituals, social roles, and concepts or adopted and transformed them into the enduring themes of Mesoamerican symbol systems.

Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens

Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya
Author: Simon Martin,Nikolai Grube
Publisher: Chronicles
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 240
View: 8306
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"The ideal reference on Maya archaeology." Science News

Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya


Author: Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300224672
Category: Art
Page: 304
View: 4210
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This nuanced account explores Maya mythology through the lens of art, text, and culture. It offers an important reexamination of the mid-16th-century Popol Vuh, long considered an authoritative text, which is better understood as one among many crucial sources for the interpretation of ancient Maya art and myth. Using materials gathered across Mesoamerica, Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos bridges the gap between written texts and artistic representations, identifying key mythical subjects and uncovering their variations in narratives and visual depictions. Central characters—including a secluded young goddess, a malevolent grandmother, a dead father, and the young gods who became the sun and the moon—are identified in pottery, sculpture, mural painting, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Highlighting such previously overlooked topics as sexuality and generational struggles, this beautifully illustrated book paves the way for a new understanding of Maya myths and their lavish expression in ancient art.

Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya


Author: Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300207174
Category:
Page: 304
View: 2145
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This nuanced account explores Maya mythology through the lens of art, text, and culture. It offers an important reexamination of the mid-16th-century Popol Vuh, long considered an authoritative text, which is better understood as one among many crucial sources for the interpretation of ancient Maya art and myth. Using materials gathered across Mesoamerica, Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos bridges the gap between written texts and artistic representations, identifying key mythical subjects and uncovering their variations in narratives and visual depictions. Central characters--including a secluded young goddess, a malevolent grandmother, a dead father, and the young gods who became the sun and the moon--are identified in pottery, sculpture, mural painting, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Highlighting such previously overlooked topics as sexuality and generational struggles, this beautifully illustrated book paves the way for a new understanding of Maya myths and their lavish expression in ancient art.

Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican Books of Fate


Author: Elizabeth Hill Boone
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292756569
Category: History
Page: 338
View: 1959
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In communities throughout precontact Mesoamerica, calendar priests and diviners relied on pictographic almanacs to predict the fate of newborns, to guide people in choosing marriage partners and auspicious wedding dates, to know when to plant and harvest crops, and to be successful in many of life's activities. As the Spanish colonized Mesoamerica in the sixteenth century, they made a determined effort to destroy these books, in which the Aztec and neighboring peoples recorded their understanding of the invisible world of the sacred calendar and the cosmic forces and supernaturals that adhered to time. Today, only a few of these divinatory codices survive. Visually complex, esoteric, and strikingly beautiful, painted books such as the famous Codex Borgia and Codex Borbonicus still serve as portals into the ancient Mexican calendrical systems and the cycles of time and meaning they encode. In this comprehensive study, Elizabeth Hill Boone analyzes the entire extant corpus of Mexican divinatory codices and offers a masterful explanation of the genre as a whole. She introduces the sacred, divinatory calendar and the calendar priests and diviners who owned and used the books. Boone then explains the graphic vocabulary of the calendar and its prophetic forces and describes the organizing principles that structure the codices. She shows how they form almanacs that either offer general purpose guidance or focus topically on specific aspects of life, such as birth, marriage, agriculture and rain, travel, and the forces of the planet Venus. Boone also tackles two major areas of controversy—the great narrative passage in the Codex Borgia, which she freshly interprets as a cosmic narrative of creation, and the disputed origins of the codices, which, she argues, grew out of a single religious and divinatory system.

Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya

Rituals of Body and Soul
Author: Andrew K. Scherer
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 1477300511
Category: Social Science
Page: 336
View: 3421
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From the tombs of the elite to the graves of commoners, mortuary remains offer rich insights into Classic Maya society. In Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya: Rituals of Body and Soul, the anthropological archaeologist and bioarchaeologist Andrew K. Scherer explores the broad range of burial practices among the Maya of the Classic period (AD 250–900), integrating information gleaned from his own fieldwork with insights from the fields of iconography, epigraphy, and ethnography to illuminate this society’s rich funerary traditions. Scherer’s study of burials along the Usumacinta River at the Mexican-Guatemalan border and in the Central Petén region of Guatemala—areas that include Piedras Negras, El Kinel, Tecolote, El Zotz, and Yaxha—reveals commonalities and differences among royal, elite, and commoner mortuary practices. By analyzing skeletons containing dental and cranial modifications, as well as the adornments of interred bodies, Scherer probes Classic Maya conceptions of body, wellness, and the afterlife. Scherer also moves beyond the body to look at the spatial orientation of the burials and their integration into the architecture of Maya communities. Taking a unique interdisciplinary approach, the author examines how Classic Maya deathways can expand our understanding of this society’s beliefs and traditions, making Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya an important step forward in Mesoamerican archeology.