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.