The Mayan Decipherment

Provide a 5 pages analysis while answering the following question: The Mayan Decipherment. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. The coming up of different schools of thought on the subject of Mayan glyphs has paved the way for different interpretations of the texts, but it is through these schools that the interpretation has rapidly advanced (Coe & Stone, 2005). Consequences arise from the decipherment of such texts among scholars and the whole world. This paper will examine such consequences, and how they might influence the world today.

Prior to the 20th century, very little could be done to decipher the coded messages in the Mayan glyphs. The only things that could have been and had been translated were. dates, numbers, rulers’ names, with events such as warfare, birth, and even death being deciphered. The idea that the glyphs were logographic meant that each sign signified one word. Also, different scholars believed that the Mayans made inscriptions that were extremely astronomical. That is probably why with the arrival of Christianity in Mesoamerica, the monks decided to burn any literature that could be found as they believed they would aid in helping the Indians resist Christianity (Coe & Stone, 2005). At the time, the texts could be found in lintels, wall paintings, and even carvings. It is through various connections that scholars who tried to translate the texts that a connection was made about the origin of the texts. Many believe that all Mayan languages have the same roots.

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As compared to the system that is now present in the world where only 26 signs represent 26 words that are identified as the alphabet, the Mayan system had over 100 signs. The Mayans could use or choose different signs to represent one sound, and this made it particularly difficult to decipher. Scholarly, the decipherment process may have begun with Benjamin Whorf whose main intention was to identify and bring out phonetic elements within the Mayan writings. His claims would later be supported by Yuri Knorozov, where the scholar indicated that syllables were&nbsp.used and not alphabetic symbols. Western Mayanists chose not to use Yuri’s decipherment technique by claiming that he used a Marxist-Leninist tactic, but later in their quest to decipher these texts, found out that the syllabic technique used earlier was more productive (Tedlock, 2010).

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