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Breaking the Maya code

Author: Michael D Coe
Publisher: New York : Thames and Hudson, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Tells the story of the decipherment of the ancient Mayan script and of the people who made the breakthroughs.
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael D Coe
ISBN: 0500050619 9780500050613 0500277214 9780500277218
OCLC Number: 26605966
Description: 304 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Prologue --
The word made visible --
Lords of the forest --
A jungle civilization rediscovered --
Forefathers: the dawn of decipherment --
The age of Thompson --
A new wind from the east --
The age of Proskouriakoff: the Maya enter history --
Pacal's people --
Down to Xibalba --
A new dawn --
A look backward, a view forward --
Epilogue.
Responsibility: Michael D. Coe.

Abstract:

Tells the story of the decipherment of the ancient Mayan script and of the people who made the breakthroughs.

The book tells the story of the last great decipherment of an ancient script. Years ago, the ruined monuments of Maya civilization were mute, the hieroglyphic inscriptions on magnificent stelae, temples, and palaces largely unread. Today, thanks to an extraordinary scientific breakthrough, these inscribed remains are revealing a history lost to humanity for a millennium. What do the glyphs tell us about the Maya world? Why did it take nearly a century and a half after the rediscovery of Maya cities to crack the code? Michael Coe is uniquely placed to give the inside story of this revolution in understanding. Himself a world-renowned Maya scholar, he has known or worked with all the main protagonists over the past years. Coe interweaves a riveting tale of intellectual attack and counterattack with a full overview of what we now know about the ancient Maya themselves. Far from being the simple, peace-loving stargazers of Thompson's imagination, they emerge as a much more complex culture: obsessed with warfare, dynastic rivalries and ritual bloodletting, yet creatures of supreme masterpieces in art and architecture. This is a superbly readable detective story, a challenging and informed account of one of the most exciting intellectual adventures of our age. -- from Book Jacket.

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