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Reading the Maya Glyphs, Second Edition Paperback – June 17, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0500285534 ISBN-10: 0500285535 Edition: Second Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Second Edition edition (June 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500285535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500285534
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Although most Mayan inscriptions have been deciphered within the last 30 years, very little has been written for the general reader interested in learning to read these ancient hieroglyphics. To remedy this, anthropologist Coe (Breaking the Maya Code) and calligrapher Van Stone have put together this illustrated manual. After an introductory chapter on Mayan history and culture, an overview is given of Mayan script, phonetics, and morphology, which readers need to study carefully with the help of the syllabary and lexicon provided in the appendix. The authors then go on to introduce glyphs, elaborating on subjects like time, the Mayan calendar, royalty, places, titles, relationships, warfare, scribes and artists, ceramic texts, religion, and nature. Also provided are exercises, a discussion of formulae and tables for calendrical calculations, references to software programs, and suggestions for further study. Although no previous knowledge of Mayan culture or language is assumed, this is not a simple primer to take on a trip to the Yucat n. Some background reading, especially on the Mayan calendar and Mayan history, is needed to benefit fully from this manual. For academic and large public libraries. Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L., CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A fun and user-friendly guide for both scholars and avocational Maya enthusiasts. -- Archaeology

Aids students, tourists, and armchair travelers in reading and understanding commonly encountered Maya texts. -- Science News

Ideal for use in courses on Maya or Mesoamerican history, or for studying the history of writing. -- Historian

Succeeds on all fronts, featuring clear, detailed, color-contrasted drawings and numerous photographs and exercises. -- Choice

The best single introduction to Maya writing, one of the most beautiful but difficult scripts in the world. -- Stephen Houston, author of Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Reading the Maya Glyphs, Second Edition is a clear and simple introduction to the topic.
Agnieszka Hamann
Coe presents glyphs and the accompanying grammar in a concise clear manner that even those with no prior experience in any related subject can understand.
Blah
If you must choose one, the Coe book is a quicker study and better designed for practicing and looking up material such as the syllabary easily.
Pat Muchmore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Blah on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently took a Maya Glyph class and was getting destroyed trying to follow the teacher. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. When I got this book things started to make sense. (Unfortunately, I bought it too late in the semester to help my grade any.) Coe presents glyphs and the accompanying grammar in a concise clear manner that even those with no prior experience in any related subject can understand. The Maya Lexicon is also a helpful tool for tyros like me who are just beginning to study this fascinating writing system. While it is true that these examples are stylized and not from actually monuments, for the beginner this is much easier to follow. In addition, the accompanying text is well written and an enjoyable read.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Pat Muchmore on August 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm giving this 4 stars, because it just doesn't seem right to rank it as only an average book, it's really fantastic. However, having done a lot of (admittedly amateur) study of the Maya script, I found this book problematic in a few areas. First, you should know that some of the grammar presented here is still very much debatable--especially the sections on morphosyllables and syllabic disharmony. If you don't have any idea what that means, don't worry, Coe explains it well. The answers are just a little more hypothetical than the presentation suggests.

John Montgomery's book "How to Read Maya Hieroglyphs" is a little more conservative on those topics, and is generally more in-depth and scholarly. The book on this page, on the other hand, is better illustrated and has practice exercises that are extremely helpful. Ideally, I would recommend owning both--the overlap is not as bad as you might think and they have different strengths for bringing along in visits to sites like Palenque and their museums. If you must choose one, the Coe book is a quicker study and better designed for practicing and looking up material such as the syllabary easily. The Montgomery gives you decidedly more info and a more solid foundation. I hope this review helps you choose the best one for your taste. Either way, enjoy studying this difficult and beautiful script.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Candace E. Pruett on November 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book beautifully printed with exquisite glyphs printed in red ink, it is also coherent and accessible to everyone interested in Maya hieroglyphs. It takes almost no time to read and fully understand, and is a perfect introduction and reference tool. A must have for any Maya enthusiast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miguel A. Guzman Garcia on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am fan of Mayas, also worte a novel about it, The Last Mayan Angel, and really like this book who enlights my thougts
I fully recommen it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Salvador Carrillo M on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is better for just understanding and learning about the Maya glyphs. It has exercises and all the glyphs are in red (the book uses two colors: black for letters and red for glyphs). This actually helps a lot. Buy this book if you don't know anything about mayan glyphs and want to learn. Maya writing is very different from english and this is reflected deep into the glyphs, so is not too easy to learn by yourself, but this book will help.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bridget on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was so helpful in understanding the incredible secrets of Mayan Glyphs. It opened doorways for me! Dr. Cos is great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julia on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being on a desert island with this book and Michael Coe (platonically) (though, I'm open...), would be great. This book, easily read...and for the armchair Mayanist, is not at all elementary. Coe assumes the reader is intelligent, this is nice...refreshing...and wonderful. Nothing new-agey here. It is actually simple...if you want to learn glyph, here's the book. But, a trip to the land itself would be grand.
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