A Dictionary of the Chuj (Mayan) Language
The lexical data reported in this Chuj-English dictionary were gathered during my dissertation field work in 1964-65. My first exposure to the Chuj language was in 1962, when I went to Huehuetenango with Norman A. McQuown and Brent Berlin to gather data on the languages of the Cuchumatanes. Working through the Maryknoll priests who were then the Catholic clergy in the indigenous areas of Huehuetenango and elsewhere in Guatemala, we recorded material from several languages. The collection includes all the recorded and transcribed Chuj texts, some 40 samples of Chuj speech from eight Chuj settlements, some of which no longer exist. Click the link to read more about the A Dictionary of the Chuj (Mayan) Language, by Nicholas A. Hopkins.
Documents concerning the "Totonicapán Rebellion of 1820" in the Archivo Nacional de Centroamérica
The transcripts in this collection were made from facsimile copies of ca. 600 pages of documents in four legajos ('files'), numbered 193, 194, 5479, and 5480, in the Archivo Nacional de Centroamérica (formerly Archivo General de Gobierno de Guatemala) in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The documents in the four legajos show that the proximate cause of the "rebellion" in Totonicapán was the refusal of the Guatemalan authorities to reinstate the provision of the Constitution of Cádiz that had outlawed the payment of tributes by Indians in the Spanish colonies. Click the link to learn more about the Documents concerning the "Totonicapán Rebellion of 1820" in the Archivo Nacional de Centroamérica, by Victoria R. Bricker.
Manual of the Monuments of Copán, Honduras
This notebook hopes to give life again to that spirit of knowledge-at-everybody's-reach, so often professed by Linda Schele, and intends to fill some of the void left by her departure. Not unlike the The Copan Notes and the notebooks for the workshops at the University of Texas, this manual does not pretend to be "the final and definitive work" on the Copan monuments. Instead, it is hoped that it will be a flexible, didactic instrument which will allow for corrections and modifications, as knowledge advances, and which may promote dialogue and interchange among those interested. It is an effort to collect information dispersed in many places and reflect an educated opinion about the current knowledge of the decipherment and interpretation of these monuments. We hope that it will be available both to the scholar and those that are just curious so that we may all enjoy it. Click here to read more about the Manual of the Monuments of Copán, Honduras, edited by Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle and Vito Véliz.
Maya Hieroglyphic Writing
Workbook for a Short Course on Maya Hieroglyphic Writing
After a couple of years working with Linda Schele in the first workshops on Maya hieroglyphic writing at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1970s, Kathryn Josserand and I took on the job of carrying the workshops to the masses and went on the road, leading weekend workshops at museums, universities, and private study groups from Los Angeles to New York City and St. Paul to Miami. The goal of these introductory workshops was to introduce beginners to the essentials of Mayawriting and encourage them to go on to the Texas workshops and "get their noses pierced," the metaphor we took from the Mixtec Codex Nuttall for initiation into the community of glyphers. From 1987 to 2006, the year of Kathryn's untimely death in Palenque, we taught more than seventy workshops at some thirty different venues as far south as Chiapas and Guatemala. Early on we developed our own style of teaching hieroglyphic writing and a workbook for use in our workshops. This workbook went without major changes for twenty years; a page or so would be added periodically as new ideas were developed. This workbook constitutes a second edition of our basic introduction to Maya writing. Click the link to download the Maya Hieroglyphic Writing - workbook for a short course on Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, by J. Kathryn Josserand and Nicholas A. Hopkins.
Documents concerning the "Tzeltal Revolt of 1712" in the Archivo General de las Indias
The transcripts reproduced here were made from a microfilm copy of ca. 6,500 pages of documents in four legajos ('files'), numbered 293, 294, 295, and 296, in the Archivo General de Indias, Audiencia de Guatemala, in Seville, Spain. Most of the documents in the four legajos were microfilmed on behalf of the University of Chicago in connection with Edward E. Calnek's dissertation research on the ethnohistory of Chiapas between 1960 and 1962. Click the link to learn more about the Documents concerning the "Tzeltal Revolt of 1712" in the Archivo General de las Indias, by Victoria R. Bricker.
The Aglio-Kingsborough Paris Codex
The earliest known set of drawings of the Paris Codex, possibly dating from around 1835, are attributed to Agostino (Augustine) Aglio. These drawings are now lost, but lithographic prints of them are located at the Newberry Library, Chicago. To learn more about these prints, and Kingsborough's Antiquities of Mexico, click here to read more about the The Aglio-Kingsborough Paris Codex, by Randa Marhenke.
José Pérez and Sample Peresianus Page(s) of 1859
In 1859, José Pérez published, in a journal edited by Léon de Rosny, a short article about the Paris Codex entitled "Sur un ancien manuscrit américain inédit". In this article, he described the Paris Codex as being of the same "genre" as the Dresden Codex, and included one or two drawings of one or two pages from the Paris Codex. This turns out to be one of the earliest renditions of any part of the Paris Codex. Click here to read more about the José Pérez and Sample Peresianus Page(s) of 1859, by Randa Marhenke.
A Brief History of Piedras Negras as Told by the Ancient Maya
History Revealed in Maya Glyphs
by Mark Pitts
In this brief book you will learn about the history of the ancient Maya city of Piedras Negras, as well as reading the very words of the ancient Maya. In each section we will cover a small span of Piedras Negras history. An overview of the texts in question will be given, and a table for the transcription, transliteration, and translation of the glyph blocks.
A Brief History of Piedras Negras as Told by the Ancient Maya (PDF 13.5 MB)
For slower connections, two parts are available for download:
A Brief History of Piedras Negras as Told by the Ancient Maya Part 1 (6.46 MB)
A Brief History of Piedras Negras as Told by the Ancient Maya Part 2 (7.33 MB)
A Historical Dictionary of Chol (Mayan)
This historical dictionary of Chol, which lists and analyzes all of the lexical items that were reported in significant numbers in published sources from 1789 to 1935, has been some thirty years in the making. Along the way, support has been provided by the Centro de Investigaciones Superiores del INAH (CIS-INAH) and its successor, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc., and the Council on Research and Creativity, Florida State University. We gratefully acknowledge this support. Opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring institutions. Click here to read more about the A Historical Dictionary of Chol (Mayan), by Nicholas A. Hopkins and J. Kathryn Josserand.
Directions and Partitions in Maya World View
The words and hieroglyphs used by the Classic Maya, the Colonial Maya, and the modern Maya for the "four directions" have been a subject of interest for a long time. Sixteenth-century sources provided the words used by the Yucatec Maya for the directions. The terms were East, lik'in or lak'in; North, xaman; West, chik'in; and South, nohol (Martínez Hernández 1929). These are still the terms used by Mayas of the Yucatecan branch of the Mayan family (Barrera Vásquez et al. 1980; Bricker et al. 1998; Hofling & Tesucún 1997). As far as the glyphs were concerned, epigraphic research in the nineteenth century identified the hieroglyphs used to represent the directions. However, it was a long time before scholars knew how to put these two lines of evidence together, and there are still unresolved questions. Click here to read more about the Directions and Partitions in Maya World View, by Nicholas A. Hopkins and J. Kathryn Josserand.
The La Mojarra Chronicle: An Illustrated Account of an Archaeological Investigation in Veracruz, Mexico
In 1995 I led a joint University of Alabama-University of Veracruz archaeological project at La Mojarra with the financial support of the National Geographic Society and both universities. Our goals were to learn about the site and above all to discover additional monuments with texts in what is now called the Isthmian or Epi-Olmec Script. This web page relates the history and results of that project, its successes and high points as well as its failures and disappointments. I hope to give the reader insights into what we did as well as why and how we did it. In addition, I want share the daily experiences of our project as an example of what happens on an "average" archaeological field project in Mexico or anywhere else. Our project was unique, as all archaeological projects are, and yet most follow certain very similar trajectories. Click here to read more about the The La Mojarra Chronicle, by Richard Diehl.
Mesoamerican Pottery Database
Studying ancient pottery gives us information about stylistic forms, decorative design motifs, iconographic elements and epigraphic information. When this information is combined with data from archaeological excavations, researchers can begin to understand the function of the pottery and the meaning to the people who created and used it. Dr. Inga Calvin has teamed up with FAMSI to create a fully-searchable pottery database which integrates photographic images with maps, plans and the excavation contexts of PreColumbian vessels from Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador. Click here to read more about the Mesoamerican Pottery Database, by Inga E. Calvin.