Maya Writing

Nikolai Grube

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Maya Writing

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  • History of Art



Ancient Maya civilization is widely known for its hieroglyphic writing system. Although the Maya were not the only Mesoamerican civilization that had developed writing, Maya hieroglyphs have received major attention because of the sheer size of the script corpus as well as the fact that Maya writing has been deciphered during the last thirty years so that approximately 75 percent of its written texts can now be understood. This article discusses the structure of Maya writing, sentences and text structure, the language of Maya inscriptions, and social dimensions of Maya writing and literature.

Keywords: ancient Mayans; hieroglyphics; writing system; sentences; text structure; Maya inscriptions

Article.  3299 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; History of Art

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