This long-awaited resource complements its companion volume on Classic Period monumental inscriptions. Authors Martha J. Macri and Gabrielle Vail provide a comprehensive listing of graphemes found in the Dresden, Madrid, and Paris codices, 40 percent of which are unique to these painted manuscripts, and discuss current and past interpretations of these graphemes. The New Catalog uses an original coding system developed for the Maya Hieroglyphic Database Project. The new three-digit codes group the graphemes according to their visual, rather than functional, characteristics to allow readers to see distinctions between similar signs. Each entry contains the grapheme’s New Catalog code, an image, the corresponding Thompson number, proposed syllabic and logographic values, calendrical significance, and bibliographical citations. Appendices and an index of signs from both volumes contain images of all graphemes and variants ordered by code, allowing readers to search for graphemes by visual form or by their proposed logographic and phonetic values. Together the two volumes of the New Catalog represent the most significant updating of the sign lists for the Maya script proposed in half a century. They provide a cutting-edge reference tool critical to the research of Mesoamericanists in the fields of archaeology, art history, ethnohistory, and linguistics, and a valuable resource to scholars specializing in comparative studies of writing systems and related disciplines.
The publishing history of the eleven chapters that comprise the contents of this second volume of Native Languages of the Americas is rather different from that of the thirteen that appeared in Volume I of this twin set late last year. Original ver sions of five articles, respectively, by Barthel, Grimes, Longacre, Mayers, and Suarez, were first published in Part II of Current Trends in Linguistics, Vol. 4, subtitled lbero-A merican and Caribbean Linguistics (1968), having been com missioned by the undersigned in his capacity as editor of the fourteen volume series which was distributed in twenty-one tomes between 1963 and 1976. McClaran's article is reprinted from Part III of Vol. 10. Linguistics in North America (1973) and the two by Kaufman and Rensch were in Part I I of Vol. 11, Diachronic, A real. and Typological Linguistics (1973 ). There are three contributions by Landar: earlier versions of two appeared in Vol. 10 ("North American Indian Languages. " accompanied by William Sorsby's maps of tribal groups of North and Central America), and in Vol. 13, Historiography of Linguistics (1975); however, his checklist of South and Central American Indian languages was freshly compiled for this book. Generous financial support for preparing the materials included in this project came from several agencies of the United States government, to wit: the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation, for Vols. 10 and 13, and the Office of Education, for Vols. 4 and 11; in addition.
Papers from the 1987 Maya Weekend conference at the University of Pennsylvania Museum present current views of Maya culture and language. Also included is an article by George Stuart summarizing the history of the study of Maya hieroglyphs and the fascinating scholars and laypersons who have helped bring about their decipherment. Symposium Series III University Museum Monograph, 77
For hundreds of years, Maya artists and scholars used hieroglyphs to record their history and culture. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, archaeologists, photographers, and artists recorded the Maya carvings that remained, often by transporting box cameras and plaster casts through the jungle on muleback. The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volume I: The Classic Period Inscriptions is a guide to all the known hieroglyphic symbols of the Classic Maya script. In the New Catalog Martha J. Macri and Matthew G. Looper have produced a valuable research tool based on the latest Mesoamerican scholarship. An essential resource for all students of Maya texts, the New Catalog is also accessible to nonspecialists with an interest in Mesoamerican cultures. Macri and Looper present the combined knowledge of the most reliable scholars in Maya epigraphy. They provide currently accepted syllabic and logographic values, a history of references to published discussions of each sign, and related lexical entries from dictionaries of Maya languages, all of which were compiled through the Maya Hieroglyphic Database Project. This first volume of the New Catalog focuses on texts from the Classic Period (approximately 150-900 C.E.), which have been found on carved stone monuments, stucco wall panels, wooden lintels, carved and painted pottery, murals, and small objects of jadeite, shell, bone, and wood. The forthcoming second volume will describe the hieroglyphs of the three surviving Maya codices that date from later periods.