Image - Maya Scribe With Codex - K5768 - Photo © Justin Kerr MAYA HIEROGLYPHIC WRITING
The Ancient Maya Codices

In 1965, the Grolier Codex was "discovered" in México. The story of its discovery is well-told in Michael Coe's "Breaking the Maya Code" (Thames and Hudson, 1992), but suffice it to say that a Mexican collector, Dr. José Saenz, allowed himself to be whisked away in a small plane to some airstrip near the Sierra de Chiapas and Tortuguero, where, along with other relics, he was shown this codex fragment. These artifacts were said to have been from a nearby dry cave. Dr. Saenz eventually bought the codex fragment, let it be shown by Michael Coe at the Grolier Club in New York City (1971), and donated it to the Mexican government, where, as Michael Coe aptly says, "it presently languishes in a Mexico City vault"–instead of being displayed in a museum. Fortunately, complete photographs of the Grolier Codex have been published; the following lists the known publications:

Image from the Grolier Codex.

1. "The Maya Scribe and His World", by Michael Coe, New York: The Grolier Club, 1973. (Prints of Justin Kerr’s copyrighted color photos).

2. "Los Códices Mayas", introduction and bibliography by Thomas A. Lee, Jr., Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México, 1985. This work was completed under the auspices of Universidad Autonoma de Chiapas. (Includes prints of Justin Kerr’s copyrighted color photos).

3. The National Geographic Society printed (in rather small format) Enrico Ferorelli’s color photos twice: once in an article by John B. Carlson in the March 1990 issue of the National Geographic magazine, and later in Gene S. and George E. Stuart's volume, "Lost Kingdoms of the Maya", 1993.

4. Arqueología Mexicana, no. 55 (2002), includes Ramón Viñas' color photos in an article written by Claude Baudez.

5. The FAMSI website provides access to Justin Kerr's color photos of the Grolier.

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For the complete set of photographs of the Grolier Codex by Justin Kerr with commentary from The Maya Scribe and His World by Michael D. Coe click here.

For the high resolution photographs of the Grolier Codex by Justin Kerr, click here. (You will be leaving the FAMSI website.)

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