INTRO TO MAYA HIEROGLYPHIC WRITING
Required: 1) M.D. Coe, Breaking the Maya Code. (BMC) LCC 91-65312
2) M.D. Coe and Mark Van Stone Reading The Maya Glyphs.
R. Sharer, The Ancient Maya, 5th Ed ISBN 0-8047-2310-9 (TAM)
L. Schele and M. Miller, The Blood of Kings (BOK)
L. Schele and D. Friedel A Forest of Kings (FOK)
L. Schele and Peter Matthews Code of Kings (COK)
D. Freidel, L. Schele and J. Parker. Maya Cosmos (MC)
J. Eric S. Thompson, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing (MHW)
J.F. Harris & S.K. Stearns, Understanding Maya Inscriptions (UMI)
J. Montgomery, How To Read Maya Hieroglyphs (HTR)
G. Pedro González, A Mayan Life. (La Otra Cara) Yaxte' Press
Maya Epigraphic Database (on the internet)
Week 1 8/27, 9/1, 9/3 INTRODUCTION overview of course content:
Intro to the Maya. recent developments in Maya glyph studies.
T5Ol Imix, T528 Cauac, T544 Kin, T526 Caban, T56l Sky
Movie Thursday 9/3, UGL 344: Popol Vuh (Vidcass 1959 UGLAVC)
Homework: read "Sacrifice" (packet pages ....), taking notes. Write
down all unfamiliar words and see if you can figure out what
they mean from the context. Use dictionary if necessary
Familiarize yourself with contents of the packet. (Isthmian Stela)
Suggested Reading : MHW Ch. l, BOK 1-4O
Week 2 9/8, 9/10 PRINCIPLES OF GLYPHIC WRITING reading order,
T6O1 Cuch, T756 Bat, T533 Ahau, T683 Moon, T58O Jade,
Homework: memorize definitions of: conflation/fusion, (glyph)
collocation, glyph block, affix, main sign, logograph/logogram,
phonetic sign, phonetic complement, syllable, pictograph, rebus,
semantic determinative, overlapping, suppression, synharmony, and
other concepts on pp. 1O-14 of packet.
Suggested Reading: MHW Ch. 2, BOK 317-328, TAM Ch. 13
(yet another syllabary).
evidence for phoneticism, rebus writing.
T758 Xul, T67l Manik hand, T757 Jog w/ cross, T669 Death fist, T52l Uinal
Homework: using Thompson's catalog, pp. 32-45 of packet, assign
T-numbers to the phonetic glyphs on pp. 47-50 of packet.
Suggested Reading: MHW Ch. 2, BOK 41-62. TAM Ch. 13
Week 4 9/22, 9/24 THE TZOLKIN: CYCLE OF 26O DAYS
T585 Quincunx, T747 Vulture, T5O6 Kan, T539 Way, T75l Jaguar
Homework Assignment: memorize the day names in order.
Do the problem assigned in class. (find 1st 2O glyphs --thru
Week 4--on the Palenque Palace Tablet)
Suggested Reading: MHW Ch. 3., BOK Ch. 1., TAM Ch. 12
Week 5 9/29, 10/1 THE HAAB: YEAR OF 365 DAYS month names,
patrons, meanings, numbering, year bearers. Calendar Round
T573 Hel,T548 Tun Drum,T552 Crossed Bands, T565 Serpent Segment,
Homework Assignment: learn to assign year bearers to CR types.
Memorize month names in order.
Do the problem assigned in class (Make Tzolkin Chart, 1st
vert. col. Imix-Ahau, second, nos. 1-2O and 1-13-7, third,
nos. 21-4O and 8-13-1).
Suggested Reading: MHW Ch. 4., BOK Ch. 2., TAM Ch. 12
Week 6 10/6, 10/8 NUMBERS bars and dots, head variants, symbolic
variants, completion, twenty, positional notation, counting,
numerical classifiers, addition, subtraction. (numbers)
T586Hatched dot,T644 Seating,T5lO Lamat-Venus,T764Chicchan
snake, T667 Inverted fist.
Homework Assignment:memorize criterial features of numeral
Do the problems assigned in class. (problem 1)
Suggested Reading: MHW Ch. 5, BOK Ch. 3., TAM Ch. 12
Week 7 10/13, 10/15 THE LONG COUNT names and glyphs of periods,
long count starting points, ISIG, ruler of I.S. months, calculations,
lunar series. T7l3 Flat hand, T684 Toothache, T5O7 Spotted Kan,
T617 *Mirror, T74O Upended frog.
Movie Thursday 10/15 at UGL Audiovisual 344: Sacred Games
(Vidcass 1812 UGLAVC)
Homework assignment: do the problems assigned in class.
Memorize names and number of days of periods (kin, uinal, tun,
Suggested Reading: BOK Ch. 4., TAM Ch. 12
Week 8 10/20, 10/22 DISTANCE NUMBERS period arrangement,
suppression of Kin glyph, anterior and posterior (date) indicators,
calculations, Katun glyph, Baktun glyph.
T5l3 Muluc, T67O Hand w/ glyph in angle, T563 Fire, T672 Fire fist,
T5l5 Muluc burden
Homework assignment: Problems to be assigned in class.
Suggested Reading: BOK Ch. 5., TAM Ch. 12
MIDTERM EXAM - THURSDAY OF THIS WEEK
Week 9 10/27, 10/29 HISTORICAL CONTENT OF INSCRIPTIONS I
CR interval problems (Probs. 2 handout) (plaza-nab, stela-tree, pyramid-mountain)
T769 Black Hole, Emblem glyphs for Palenque, Tikal, Yaxchilan
(2), Quirigua, and Bonampak
Homework assignment: CR interval problems to be assigned in class
Suggested Reading: BOK Ch. 6; TAM Ch. 11; and "Some aspects of
the sacred geography of Highland Chiapas" pp. 119-142 of E.P. Benson
(ed.) Mesoamerican Sites and World-views.
Week 10 11/3, 11/5 HISTORICAL CONTENT OF INSCRIPTIONS II
sacred landscape; ball game (court as nab); relationship glyphs (on internet).
Tablet of the Cross.
T614 Thatch, T679 Forward, T5O4 Akbal, T28l Kan cross, T738 Fish,
T1O14 God N
Homework Assignment: Do the problem assigned in class.
Suggested Reading: MHW Ch. 6, BOK Ch. 7., TAM Ch. 4
Week 11 11/10, 11/12 HISTORICAL CONTENT OF INSCRIPTIONS III
birth, heir designation, accession, death, burial, bloodletting
(p. 108, 149, 151), scattering (162), war, capture, torture (various verbs on internet);
Tablet of Cross.
T58 *White, T59 *Ti, T6O *Knot, Tl8l *a, T1 *u, T87 *Te,
Homework assignment: problem to be assigned in class (find
glyphs on the Stela to be handed out, that we've covered).
Read Furst, "Fertility, vision quest and autosacrifice..." (packet);
Stross, "The Burden of Office".
Suggested Reading: MHW Ch. 7, BOK Ch. 8 , TAM Ch. 5
Week 12 11/17, 11/19 HISTORICAL CONTENT OF INSCRIPTIONS IV
T. of Cross .
T743 Turtle, T6l2 Men semblant, T5l8 Muluc variant,
T765 Black spotted dog, T516a Dance
Movie Thursday 11/19 UGL Audiovisual 344: Appeals to Santiago
(Movie 10,273 UGLAVC)
Homework assignment: problem to be assigned in class (draw
emblem glyph lines (from the EG's p.31, to the sites on the
map). Read Stross, "Classic Maya Directional Glyphs" (packet)
Suggested Reading: TAM 6, 7
Week l3 11/24, (Thanksgiving) THE PRIMARY STANDARD SEQUENCE
substitutions, meanings, homophones, symbolism. (maya vessel)
T13O *Wa, T23 *Na, T178 *La, T25 *Ka, T188 *Le, T74 *Ma,
T116 *Sun tail, T44 *To, T6O7 *Ho
Homework assignment: can you find the PSS in this early inscription.
Read Stross, "Glyphs on Classic Maya Vessels" (packet);
Suggested Reading: Bricker, "The Calendrical Meaning of Ritual
among the Maya" (in Bricker and Gossen (eds.) Ethnographic
Encounters in Southern Mesoamerica pp. 231-249); TAM Ch 8-10.
Week l4 12/1, 12/3 TECHNIQUES OF DECIPHERMENT
structural analysis (p. 173, 174), evidence, data, presentation,
resources; crayfish and Olmec antecedents, sacrum, sky and earth.
Classic Maya lexical innovations,
T168 *Ahpo, T673 Hand w/ Crossed bands, T115 *Yo, T18 *Yi,
T117 *Wi, T177 *Pi, T16 *Green, T1O9 *Red, T95 *Black,
Homework assignment: Read Stross, "The Man in the Maw" (packet).
Suggested Reading: D. Kelley, Deciphering the Maya Script Ch. l2:
F. Lounsbury "On the derivation and reading of the 'Ben-Ich'
prefix." in E.P. Benson (ed.) Mesoamerican Writing Systems
pp. 99-143. David Stuart, "Ten phonetic syllables"
(Center for Maya Research, Report #14)
A Midterm and a Final exam plus one or more quizzes. The Final will count twice as much as the Midterm and will include materials tested on the midterm. The Midterm will cover materials through the seventh week. The Final will be comprehensive.
Mesoweb outstanding website
Maya Hieroglyphic Workshop Online P. Matthews and M. Zender
http://members.shaw.ca/mjfinley/mayaintro.html good links on Maya & script
Maya links (archaeology, maps, etc.)
http://www.canstockphoto.com/images-photos/mayan-hieroglyphic.html#rows:100;term:mayan%20hieroglyphics Stock pictures of Maya hieroglyphs
http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/mayan-art.html pics of Maya art