Seller: tomi.knezevic (60) 100%, Location: Kaštel Novi, Splitsko-Dalmatinska županija, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 322226363283 The Mayan script, also known as Mayan glyphs or Mayan hieroglyphs, is the writing system of the Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, currently the only Mesoamerican writing system that has been substantially deciphered. The earliest inscriptions found, which are identifiably Maya, date to the 3rd century BCE in San Bartolo, Guatemala. Maya writing was in continuous use throughout Mesoamerica until the Spanish conquest of the Maya in the 16th and 17th centuries. Maya writing used logograms complemented by a set of syllabic glyphs, somewhat similar in function to modern Japanese writing. Mayan writing was called "hieroglyphics" or hieroglyphs by early European explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries who did not understand it but found its general appearance reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphs, to which the Mayan writing system is not at all related. Modern Mayan languages are written using the Latin alphabet rather than Maya script. It is now thought that the codices and other Classic texts were written by scribes, usually members of the Maya priesthood, in a literary form of the Ch’olti’ language (known as Classic Maya). It is possible that the Maya elite spoke this language as a lingua franca over the entire Maya-speaking area, but also that texts were written in other Mayan languages of the Petén and Yucatán, especially Yucatec. There is also some evidence that the script may have been occasionally used to write Mayan languages of the Guatemalan Highlands. However, if other languages were written, they may have been written by Ch’olti’ scribes, and therefore have Ch’olti’ elements. Mayan writing consisted of a relatively elaborate set of glyphs, which were laboriously painted on ceramics, walls or bark-paper codices, carved in wood or stone, or molded in stucco. Carved and molded glyphs were painted, but the paint has rarely survived. About 90% of Mayan writing can now be read with varying degrees of certainty, enough to give a comprehensive idea of its structure. There is evidence of literacy based on the use of the Mayan script. The Mayan script was a logosyllabic system. Individual symbols ("glyphs") could represent either a word (actually a morpheme) or a syllable; indeed, the same glyph could often be used for both. For example, the calendaric glyph MANIK’ was also used to represent the syllable chi. (It is customary to write logographic readings in all capitals and phonetic readings in italics.) It is possible, but not certain, that these conflicting readings arose as the script was adapted to new languages, as also happened with Japanese kanji and with Assyro-Babylonian and Hittite cuneiform. There was polyvalence in the other direction as well: different glyphs could be read the same way. For example, half a dozen apparently unrelated glyphs were used to write the very common third person pronoun u-. Mayan was usually written in blocks arranged in columns two blocks wide, read as follows: Maya inscriptions were most often written in columns two glyphs wide, with each such column read left to right, top to bottom Within each block, glyphs were arranged top-to-bottom and left-to-right, superficially rather like Korean Hangul syllabic blocks. However, in the case of Mayan, each block tended to correspond to a noun or verb phrase such as his green headband. Also, glyphs were sometimes conflated, where an element of one glyph would replace part of a second. Conflation occurs in other scripts: For example, in medieval Spanish manuscripts the word de 'of' was sometimes written Ð (a D with the arm of an E). Another example is the ampersand (&) which is a conflation of the Latin et. In place of the standard block configuration, Mayan was also sometimes written in a single row or column, 'L', or 'T' shapes. These variations most often appeared when they would better fit the surface being inscribed. Mayan glyphs were fundamentally logographic. Generally the glyphs used as phonetic elements were originally logograms that stood for words that were themselves single syllables, syllables that either ended in a vowel or in a weak consonant such as y, w, h, or glottal stop. For example, the logogram for 'fish fin' (Maya [kah]—found in two forms, as a fish fin and as a fish with prominent fins), came to represent the syllable ka. These syllabic glyphs performed two primary functions: they were used as phonetic complements to disambiguate logograms which had more than one reading, as also occurred in Egyptian and in modern Japanese (i.e. furigana); and they were used to write grammatical elements such as verbal inflections which did not have dedicated logograms, also as in modern Japanese (i.e. okurigana). For example, b'alam 'jaguar' could be written as a single logogram, B'ALAM, complemented phonetically as ba-B'ALAM, or B'ALAM-ma, or b'a-B'ALAM-ma, or written completely phonetically as b'a-la-ma. Phonetic glyphs stood for simple consonant-vowel or bare-vowel syllables. However, Mayan phonotactics is slightly more complicated than this: Most Mayan words end in a consonant, not a vowel, and there may be sequences of two consonants within a word as well, as in xolte’ [ʃolteʔ] 'scepter', which is CVCCVC. When these final consonants were sonorants (l, m, n) or gutturals (j, h, ’) they were sometimes ignored ("underspelled"), but more often final consonants were written, which meant that an extra vowel was written as well. This was typically an "echo" vowel that repeated the vowel of the previous syllable. That is, the word [kah] 'fish fin' would be underspelled ka or written in full as ka-ha. However, there are many cases where some other vowel was used, and the orthographic rules for this are only partially understood; this is largely due to the difficulty in ascertaining whether this vowel may be due to an underspelled suffix. Lacadena and Wichmann (2004) proposed the following conventions: A CVC syllable was written CV-CV, where the two vowels (V) were the same: yo-po [yop] 'leaf'A syllable with a long vowel (CVVC) was written CV-Ci, unless the long vowel was [i], in which case it was written CiCa: ba-ki [baak] 'captive', yi-tzi-na [yihtziin] 'younger brother'A syllable with a glottalized vowel (CV’C or CV’VC) was written with a final a if the vowel was [e, o, u], or with a final u if the vowel was [a] or [i]: hu-na [hu’n] 'paper', ba-tz’u [ba’ts’] 'howler monkey'.Preconsonantal [h] is not indicated. That is, a simple vowel is intended if the vowels are the same (harmonic), and either two syllables are intended (likely underspelled) if the vowels are not the same (disharmonic), or else a single syllable with a long vowel (if V1 = [a e? o u] and V2 = [i], or else if V1 = [i] and V2 = [a]) or with a glottalized vowel (if V1 = [e? o u] and V2 = [a], or else if V1 = [a i] and V2 = [u]). The long-vowel reading of [Ce-Ci] is still uncertain, and there is a possibility that [Ce-Cu] represents a glottalized vowel (if it is not simply an underspelling for [CeCuC]), so it may be that the disharmonies form natural classes: [i] for long non-front vowels, otherwise [a] to keep it disharmonic; [u] for glottalized non-back vowels, otherwise. An "emblem glyph" is a kind of royal title. It consists of a word ajaw—a Classic Maya term for "lord" of yet unclear etymology but well-attested in Colonial sources—and a place name that precedes the word ajaw and functions as an adjective. An expression "Boston lord" would be a perfect English analogy. Sometimes, the title is introduced by an adjective k’uhul ("holy, divine" or "sacred"), just as if someone wanted to say "holy Boston lord". Of course, an "emblem glyph" is not a "glyph" at all: it can be spelled with any number of syllabic or logographic signs and several alternative spellings are attested for the words k’uhul and ajaw, which form the stable core of the title. The term "emblem glyph" simply reflects the times when Mayanists could not read Classic Maya inscriptions and had to come up with some nicknames isolating certain recurrent structural components of the written narratives. This title was identified in 1958 by Heinrich Berlin, who coined the term "emblem glyph". Berlin noticed that the "emblem glyphs" consisted of a larger "main sign" and two smaller signs now read as k’uhul ajaw. Berlin also noticed that while the smaller elements remained relatively constant, the main sign changed from site to site. Berlin proposed that the main signs identified individual cities, their ruling dynasties, or the territories they controlled. Subsequently, Marcus argued that the "emblem glyphs" referred to archaeological sites, broken down in a 5-tiered hierarchy of asymmetrical distribution. Marcus' research assumed that the emblem glyphs were distributed in a pattern of relative site importance depending on broadness of distribution, roughly broken down as follows: Primary regional centers (capitals) (Tikal, Calakmul, and other "superpowers") were generally first in the region to acquire a unique emblem glyph(s). Texts referring to other primary regional centers occur in the texts of these "capitals", and dependencies exist which use the primary center's glyph. Secondary centers (Altun Ha, Luubantuun, Xunantunich, and other mid-sized cities had their own glyphs but are only rarely mentioned in texts found in the primary regional center, while repeatedly mentioning the regional center in their own texts. Tertiary centers (towns) had no glyphs of their own, but have texts mentioning the primary regional centers and perhaps secondary regional centers on occasion. These were followed by the villages with no emblem glyphs and no texts mentioning the larger centers, and hamlets with little evidence of texts at all. This model was largely unchallenged for over a decade until Mathews and Justeson, as well as Houston argued once again that the "emblem glyphs" were the titles of Maya rulers with some geographical association. The debate on the nature of "emblem glyphs" received a new spin with the monograph by Stuart and Houston. The authors convincingly demonstrated that there were lots of place names-proper, some real, some mythological, mentioned in the hieroglyphic inscriptions. Some of these place names also appeared in the "emblem glyphs", some were attested in the "titles of origin" (various expressions like "a person from Boston"), but some were not incorporated in personal titles at all. Moreover, the authors also highlighted the cases when the "titles of origin" and the "emblem glyphs" did not overlap, building upon an earlier research by Houston. Houston noticed that the establishment and spread of the Tikal-originated dynasty in the Petexbatun region was accompanied by the proliferation of rulers using the Tikal "emblem glyph" placing political and dynastic ascendancy above the current seats of rulership. Recent investigations also emphasize the use of emblem glyphs as an emic identifier to shape socio-political self-identity. The Mayas used a positional base-twenty (vigesimal) numerical system which only included whole numbers. For simple counting operations, a bar and dot notation was used. The dot represents 1 and the bar represents 5. A shell was used to represent zero. Numbers from 6 to 19 are formed combining bars and dots. Numbers can be written horizontally or vertically. These four examples show how the value of Maya numerals can be calculated The value of a number depends on its position going from the bottom line upward in the configuration. The initial position -to wit, bottom line- has the value represented in the symbol. On the following line, the value of the symbol is multiplied by 20; on the third line from the bottom it's multiplied by 400, and each successive line is growing by powers of 20. That is to say, Mayan numerals use base 20. This positional system allows the calculation of large figures, necessary for chronology and astronomy.