University of Texas at Austin

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Code Crackers

Linda Schele

Linda Schele

[caption id="attachment_536" align="alignright" width="175" caption="David Stuart"]David Stuart[/caption]Two University of Texas at Austin researchers are prominently featured in “Cracking the Maya Code,” an episode of Nova on PBS. The episode, first aired in April 2008, is rebroadcast at 7 p.m. May 5 on KLRU. It also is available online at

David Stuart\'s Take Five video

The program follows the efforts of archeologists who for more than a century tried to figure out the meaning of symbols, called glyphs, inscribed in Maya ruins in Central America and Mexico.

The late Linda Schele, a professor of art history at the university, provided crucial insights into the glyphs that David Stuart followed up on to break the code.

Stuart, whose parents have been archeologists, began working with Schele when he was 11. He now holds the Linda and David Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the university.

“When I walked among the buildings of Palenque (a Mayan city in Mexico), I saw a culture where art was central,” Schele says in the program. “And I was really driven to understand who had done it and why and how.”

“Cracking the Code” shows the process of science, how researchers build upon the work of their predecessors. It also uses graphics effectively to manipulate certain key glyphs and show how archeologists arrived at their insights

Schele, who died in 1998, underlined the importance to the Maya of today of cracking the code.

“The glyphs give the Maya 1,500 years of history written in their ancestors’ words, not in the words of white people from Europe.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new Web pages.
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

2 Comments to "Code Crackers"

1.  Jimmy White says

I saw the special on Hulu. Great video, the discoveries were truly amazing

acai berry

May 14, 2009


2.  Jorge Jacson says

Wow Great post. thanks for the information.

October 31, 2009


Post a comment

» Code Crackers



Comments are moderated. They will be posted if they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. They will not be published if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity or spam.