FAMSI Maya Writing Logo

Link to enlarge Scribe from K1185 ©Justin Kerr MAYA HIEROGLYPHIC WRITING
Maya Hieroglyphics Study Guide Compiled by Inga Calvin

Updated: January 31, 2012

The Maya Hieroglyphics Study Guide provides illustrations and decipherments of many words used by the Classic Period Maya in their inscriptions. The chapter organization replicates the order of Classic Cholan ritual text: date - verb - object (nouns) - subject (titles, relationships, deities).

As noted in the index, this study guide has been formatted for double-sided printing and that each section has been identified with a roman numeral (Calendrics = Section I, Verbs = Section II, etc.) - for ease of use, it is suggested that each section be printed on a different color of paper.

Any use of this guide for sale or profit is strictly prohibited.

Download the Maya Hieroglyphics Study Guide

NOTE: We've found that it's faster and easier to view these documents if you download the individual files to your computer and open them locally. To download and save, right click on the file, choose "save as" from the menu, pick a location (for example "My Documents") and click "Save".

The PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download the latest version, click the Get Acrobat Reader button below.

Get Acrobat Reader

For those with a fast connection, download the complete PDF file:

The complete Study Guide in PDF format (9.58 MB).

For those with slower connections, download the PDF file in sections:

The Maya Hieroglyphics Study Guide by section:

 Download Section   I – Calendrics  (3.12 MB)
 Toggle(this) Section   I – Calendrics
bullet Chronological Periods
bullet Classic Period Maya Sites
bullet Classic Period & Modern Maya Languages
bullet Evolution of Mayan Languages
bullet Reading Order
bullet Syllabary
bullet Numbers
bullet Dates – Sacred Almanac of 260 Days
bullet Dates – Solar Calendar of 365 Days
bullet Dates – Long Count
bullet Dates – Supplementary Series Dates — Lords of the Night
bullet Dates – Supplementary Series Dates — Lunar Series
bullet Correlation of Maya & Christian Dates
Download Section  II – Verbs  (2.30 MB)
Toggle(this) Section   II – Verbs
bullet Inflectional Endings
bullet Accession
bullet Birth & Death
bullet Dedication
bullet Warfare
bullet Syllabary
bullet Numbers
bullet Verbs
bullet Dates – Temporal Indicators
bullet Dates – Distance Numbers
Download Section III – Nouns  (2.36 MB)
Toggle(this) Section III – Nouns
bullet Ergative Pronouns – "it is"
bullet Demonstrative Pronouns – Prepositions
bullet Structures
bullet Monuments
bullet Warfare
bullet Animals
bullet Nouns
Download Section IV – Titles, Emblem Glyphs & Deities  (2.31 MB)
Toggle(this) Section IV – Titles, Emblem Glyphs & Deities
bullet Titles
bullet Familial Relations
bullet Relationships
bullet Emblem Glyphs
bullet Directions
bullet Colors
bullet Dieties
Download Section  V – Pottery Text  (1.66 MB)
Toggle(this) Section  V – Pottery Text
bullet Vessel Typology
bullet Presentation
bullet Surface Treatment
bullet Vessel Contents

Also compiled by Inga Calvin: Royal Maya Dynasties of the Classic Period.

The complete Royal Maya Dynasties of the Classic Period in PDF format (7.90 MB).

Royal Maya Dynasties of the Classic Period by section:

Section   I – Calakmul, Caracol, & Copán  (2.94 MB)
Section  II – Dos Pilas, Naranjo, Palenque, & Piedras Negras  (3.60 MB)
Section III – Quiriguá, Tikal, Toniná, & Yaxchilán  (3.60 MB)

Return to top of page