January 1, 1700 - Mayan Glyphs

By Ella Riddle

The Mayan civilization used glyph writing as a way to teach and share the new things that they discovered through their time. Glyph writing was the way that they were able to keep write down anything through small pictures or symbols that had great meanings. The English written language is formed from different combinations of 26 letters, but there are over 800 different symbols. One small symbol could mean many sentences or even a whole story. This made a huge impact in their civilization because other people from different cultures were unable to understand what the symbols meant. Even to this day there are still glyphs that archaeologists  are unable to understand what the Mayans were trying to write. This is because there is no list of what each symbol means. Sometimes this can cause a problem because there can be an incomplete story that could be holding lots of information.

The Mayan people would draw glyphs on many different natural objects such as stone slabs, stone lintels, sculptures and pottery that they made. Archaeologists have found them inside caves, or over the doorway at important places. Some of the glyphs over head at a doorway may signify what the building was but other may have a prayer or blessing. Glyph writing was very important because this was one of the earliest ways of writing and changed keeping writings available for many years to come.

Lots of other information may be written about glyphs might have been written in some of the books that the Europeans burned. In some of the books there were glyph scripts that might have helped people be able to unscramble the words. There were 3 books Mayan codices which are long scripts of writings, 3 survive today, the Dresden Codex, the Madrid Codex, and the Paris Codex. In some of these books it gave good information to the archaeologists to descript more symbols.

The glyphs would have messages that taught people lessons about many different things such as learning how to count, math and astronomy, photo documentation and also scientific trials and fails. One very important glyph story that existed was the story of when the Spanish conquistador entered their civilization trying to take over. This story gave details about the Spanish conquest, and gave many insight on parts of the story that would have otherwise been unknown. Since new civilizations and new cities are still being found it is thought that there will be new research and facts that come from glyphs that may be found.

Sources:

https://www.ducksters.com/history/maya/writing_numbers_and_calendar.php

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mayan-hieroglyphic-writing

https://www.ancient.eu/article/655/maya-writing/

https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/civil/maya/mmc04eng.html

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/79735/15-facts-about-maya-civilization

https://www.ushistory.org/civ/11b.asp

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mayacode/time-nf.html