Early Mesoamerican Writing Systems

John Justeson

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Early Mesoamerican Writing Systems

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology by Region
  • History of Art


Show Summary Details


From a comparative perspective, the early development of writing in Mesoamerica is poorly preserved. In Mesopotamia, more than six thousand tablets attest the first two centuries of the archaic, proto-cuneiform stage of the world's most ancient writing system. In contrast, the first few centuries of Mesoamerican writing, up to about 400 bc , are probably represented by fewer than a dozen texts. This article discusses Formative period scripts, relationships among the scripts, representational principles, spelling grammatical morphemes, and precursors of writing.

Keywords: Mesoamerica; writing; Formative period; scripts; representational principles; spelling grammatical morphemes

Article.  5469 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; History of Art

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.