Author Archives: Elisabeth Wagner

About Elisabeth Wagner

Lebenslauf
Studium der Altamerikanistik, Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Ethnologie und Klassischen Archäologie an der Universität Marburg, der Universität Köln und der FU Berlin. Magisterabschluss im Fach Altamerikanistik an der FU Berlin mit dem Thema Personennamen und Relationale Glyphen in den Inschriften von Chichen Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico (1996). Gaststudium an der Fachhochschule Trier, Außenstelle Idar- Oberstein im Fach Edelstein- und Schmuckdesign. Freischaffende Künstlerin (Steinbildhauerei und Edelsteingravur). Doktorandin im Fach Altamerikanistik an der Universität Bonn (Thema der Dissertation: Struktur 10L-18, Copán, Honduras: Rekonstruktion und ikonographische Analyse des bauplastischen Programms eines Grabtempels der klassischen Maya-Kultur). Seit 2009 Redakteurin für den Bereich News and Research Notes der Fachzeitschrift Mexicon (ISSN 0720-5988). Seit 2014 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin mit den Schwerpunkten Epigraphik und Ikonologie in der Arbeitsstelle “Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya” der Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste.
Publikationen
Epigraphik und Ikonologie zur kulturhistorischen Erschließung vorspanischer Quellen der Maya-Kultur; Maya-Schrift und Ikonographie als Zeichensystem; das Schrift-Bild und der ikonische Ursprung der Maya-Schrift und anderer mesoamerikanischer Schriftsysteme und die zugrundeliegenden kulturellen Konzepte; Bildprogramme in Bauplastik und Bauskulptur; Text-Bild-Relation; handwerkliche Techniken und Werkstattorganisation im vorspanischen Mesoamerika; Techniken der Steingewinnung und -verarbeitung, Steinbildhauerei und Holzschnitzerei und insbesondere die Bearbeitung von Jade; Architektur und Bautechniken; Dokumentation und Publikation von Schrift- und Bildquellen der klassischen Mayakultur.

Tz’atz’ Nah, a „New“ Term in the Classic Mayan Lexicon

Research Note 2

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20376/IDIOM-23665556.15.rn002.en

Elisabeth Wagner1, Sven Gronemeyer1,2 & Christian Prager1

1 Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn
2 La Trobe University, Melbourne

The inscriptions1)This research paper abstains from indicating or reconstructing vowel complexity on the basis of supragraphematic vowel disharmony, as has been proposed in two studies (Houston, Stuart & Robertson 1998, Lacadena & Wichmann 2004). There are two main reasons for this approach: 1) although both proposals operate under similar premises, their conclusions are rather distinct; and 2) no consensus on the mechanisms of disharmonic spellings has yet been reached, resulting in alternative views on the reasons underlying the phenomenon of vowel disharmony (e.g. Kaufman 2003, Mora-Marín 2004, Gronemeyer 2014b). We neither neglect previous research nor entirely dismiss the possibility of a quantitative Classic Mayan vowel system and its orthographic indication. Before the project has collected sufficient epigraphic data and can test previous proposals against the existing evidence or formulate new hypotheses, we prefer to pursue an unprejudiced approach in terms of the epigraphic analysis and to be rather conservative, while also noting that the transcriptional spelling in one model may also vary between authors. We therefore apply a broad transliteration and a narrow transcription, but only as far as sounds can be reconstructed by methods from historical linguistics. This last point essentially concerns the aspirated vowel nucleus, as in e.g. k’a[h]k‘. of Palenque provide us with a number of extended narrative texts that are rich sources of Classic Maya terms for various classes of objects, used both in simple descriptions and in metaphorical contexts.

Review of a 3D-model rendered from a structured light 3D-scan of a fibre-glass cast made from Maudslay’s mould of the left part of the panel from the sanctuary of the Temple of the Sun at Palenque, which is housed in the Bonner Altamerika-Sammlung (BASA) (Gronemeyer et al. 2015), revealed another term previously unknown in the Maya epigraphic record.

Figure 1. Palenque Tablet of the Sun (PAL TS), blocks C1-D6 – left: 3D mesh rendering with Lambertian radiance scaling, right: Drawing by Sven Gronemeyer, 2015

This term constitutes the collocation in C3 (Figure 1), which had not been completely identified in previous drawings of the inscription due to its ’squeezed‘ rendering by the sculptor. While the right half of C3 is clearly readable as T4NAHT60:528hi, nah, „house, building“, the left half appeared less clear. As was faintly recognisable in the early photograph by Alfred Maudslay (Maudslay 1889-1902: pl. 87) (Figure 2a), but is clearly visible in the various renderings of the 3D scan (Figures 2b-e), the left part of block C3 is consists of the sign T366tz’a. An instance of the „doubler“, the diacritic marker for a doubled spelling of the respective sign’s phonetic value (Harris 1993:ix, Stuart & Houston 1994:46, Zender 1999:102ff.), is integrated into its upper part. All in all, C3 can now be identified as 2tz’a-NAH-hi, tz’atz’+nah, which was previously unknown in the Maya epigraphic record and seems to be an architectural term, since it ends with the generic nah, „building, structure“ (Stuart 1998:376) that refers to a man-made structure as a physical object. While there is a variety of names and generic architectural terms that designate actual buildings, one should not overlook the fact that such terms can also be applied metaphorically to other classes of objects in various contexts.

a Block C3 after Maudslay (1889: pl. 87) Photo of plaster cast (Maudslay 1889: pl. 87)
b Block C3 with Phong illumination 3D scan of fibre glass replica, mesh rendering with Phong illumination for a dull surface with large highlights
c Block C3 with vertex interference pattern 3D scan of fibre glass replica, mesh rendering with a vertex interference pattern to highlight level curves
d Block C3 with Lambertian radiance scaling 3D scan of fibre glass replica, mesh rendering with Lambertian radiance scaling to accentuate contours and reduce specular spots
e Block C3 with textured Phong illumination 3D scan of fibre glass replica, textured mesh rendering with Phong illumination in lateral view

Figure 2. Different renditions of block C3 of the Tablet of the Sun to highlight the identification of the doubler.

Lingustic Evidence

A search for dictionary entries and translations of the root tz’atz‘ yielded the following entries listed in Table 1. According to Kaufman (2003: 414), ch’o(o)ch‘ ~ tx’o(o)tx‘ is a reflex of Eastern Mayan *ch’o7ch‘, „earth“. It is preserved in Q’anjobalan and has diffused into other languages, mainly into those in the so-called ‚Huehuetenango Sphere‘ (cf. Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #4-12 for cognate sets), but also into the south-central Yukatekan branch and Q’eqchi. Together with this diffusion process, a semantic shift occurred in the term as adopted by some of the recipient languages from „earth, land“ to „salty“. In the Yukatekan branch, tz’atz‘ is phonetically related2)Note that in several cases, the Greater Q’anjobalan and Eastern Mayan retroflex affricate /tx(‚)/ is cognate to the Chujean, Greater Tzeltalan, and Yukatekan alveolar /tz(‚)/ or alveopalatal /ch(‚)/ affricate (cf. Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: 17-18); e.g. compare the pan-Mayan tx’i‘ and tz’i‘, „dog“ (Cú Cab’ et al. 2003: #547); or more specifically AKA/POP/QAN tx’i(i) e(‚/h) and CHJ ch’i‘ eh, „canine tooth“ (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #224); CHJ chonhlab‘ ~ CHR chojnib‘ ~ QAN/AKA txomb’al ~ POP txonhb’al, „market“ (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #71); KIC/TZU chuluuj ~ KAQ/SAK/SIP chulaj ~ CHJ chul ~ QEQ chu‘ and AKA/QAN txule(j) ~ POP jatxul, „urine“ (Cú Cab et al. 2003: #279); or AKA/QAN tza’e(j) ~ POP kotz’a and AWA xtx’aa‘ ~ IXL txa‘ ~ MAM tx’aj, „shit“ (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #277).. A semantic relationship is also visible in a shift from the general meaning „earth“ to „wet (fertile) earth“ or „earth covered with (stale) water“. Only one related cognate can be found in Ch’ol, namely the derived transitive verb tz’ajtz’an, „to wet“, but this form at least provides an attestation that is geographically close to the source of the epigraphic evidence, Palenque. Also noteworthy is the semantic classifier in Akateko, but this kind of lexical class tends to be linguistically restricted to highland languages.

YUK ts’ats‘ tierra en medio de cuevas donde hay agua (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 879)
YUK ts’ats‘ aguada, laguneta (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 879)
ITZ tz’ätz’älb’aj tremble, shiver (Hofling & Tesucùn 1997: 635)
ITZ tz’ätz’ämkij sinkable (Hofling & Tesucùn 1997: 636)
ITZ tz’ätz’äpkij sinkable, swampy (Hofling & Tesucùn 1997: 636)
ITZ ch’ooch‘ salty (Hofling & Tesucùn 1997: 229)
MOP tz’atz‘ pantano (Ulrich & Ulrich 1976: 224)
MOP tz’atz‘ pantano (Hofling 2011: 435)
MOP tz’ätz’äälb’a(j) tremble, shiver (Hofling 2011: 436)
MOP ch’ooch‘ tiene sal, salado/a (Ulrich & Ulrich 1976: 83)
MOP ch’ooch‘ salado (Hofling 2011: 172)
CHL ts’ajts’an remojar (Aulie & de Aulie 1978: 100)
QAN tx’otx‘ tzx’otx‘ la tierra (Comunidad Lingüística Q’anjob’al 2003: 143)
QAN tz’otz’ew lodo (de Diego Antonio et al. 2001: 322)
QAN max stx’otx’nej lo embarró (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #796)
POP tx’otx‘ tierra, terreno (Ramírez Perez, Montejo & Díaz Hurtado 1996: 281)
POP tz’otz’ew < tx'otx' lodo (Ramírez Perez, Montejo & Díaz Hurtado 1996: 296)
POP yax tx’otx’bal pantano (Church & Church 1955: 67)
POP tz’otz’ewlaj lodozal, lodoso, atascadero (Ramírez Perez, Montejo & Díaz Hurtado 1996: 296)
AKA tx’ootx‘ tierra, terreno, barro (Andrés et al. 1996: 187)
AKA tx’otx‘ clasificador para cosas de barro o tierra (Andrés et al. 1996: 187)
AKA xyaak tx’otx‘ yiin lo embarró (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #796)
AWA tx’otx‘ tierra (Comunidad Lingüística Awakateka 2001: 48)
QEQ ch’och‘ tierra, terreno (Haeserijn 1979: 147)
MAM tx’otx‘ tierra (Comunidad Lingüística Mam 2003: 76)
MAM tx’otx‘ tierra, terreno (Maldonado Andrés, Ordonez Domingo & Ortiz Domingo 1983: 391)
MAM tx’ootx’at trabajar bien la tierra (Maldonado Andrés, Ordonez Domingo & Ortiz Domingo 1983: 391)

Table 1. Linguistic evidence for tz’atz‘.

As the cognate sets demonstrate, it is not only fruitful to consider Greater Lowland Mayan Languages (i.e. Yukatekan, Ch’olan, and Tzeltalan) in epigraphic work, but also to include Greater Q’anjobalan and even Eastern Mayan, especially those languages from highly versatile diffusion areas as the ‚Huehuetenango sphere‘. In the past, the relevance of these sources has been demonstrated, for example, by the -V1 /__# ~ -V1w /… root transitive marker (cf. Bricker 1986: 126-128) reflected in Tojolabal and other Greater Q’anjobalan languages3)For a morphophonemic characterization of the Greater Q’anjobalan branch and discussion of its implications for the Ch’olan branch and Classic Mayan, see Gronemeyer (2014b: 143, 149-153)., or the absolutive marker -aj (Zender 2004: 195, 199-200) that is preserved as -aj in Ixil and Kaqchickel and as -(b)ej in Q’anjobal and Q’eqchi.

Interpretation

The lexical entries identified for tz’atz‘ and its cognates relate to moist or wet and muddy locales, including swamps, springs and wet caves, but also to the fertile, wet soil suitable for agriculture4)As an aside, the phonetic origin of tz’atz‘ may be onomatopoetic, imitating the sound of the steps when walking over muddy or wet ground.. Based on the semantic range of the root tz’atz‘ and its cognates in various Mayan languages (Table 1), the term tz’atz’+nah may well relate to a(n) (man-made) environment whose interior is wet, muddy, or soaked; and/or which is located near or at a spring or any other wet, muddy, or swampy place, including subterranean ones.

In the text from the Temple of the Sun, the term tz’atz’+nah forms part of an epithet of a supernatural related to GIII (Figure 1, Table 2), the local manifestation of the Sun God as a war and fire god and one of Palenque’s patron gods whose mythical birth is recorded in the panel’s inscription (cf. Berlin 1963, Kelley 1965, Lounsbury 1985, Stuart 2005, 2006). Before approaching the context of the term tz’atz’+nah, a short overview of the remaining name phrases shall be given.

The first name phrase that follows the birth verb in C1 is k’inich taj+way-[a]b, „Radiant Torch Dreamer“5)By analysing syllabic and mixed spellings in a variety of contexts, Dmitri Beliaev (2004) was able to demonstrate the existence of the -ib ~ -ab allomorphs for the instrumental suffix in Classic Mayan, usually indicated by -bi and more rarely by -ba spellings. He argues that, in the present context, -ab functions as an agentive suffix for deriving a word related to „dreamer“ (Beliaev 2004: 141), in contrast to the well-known interpretation of way-ib as „dormitory“. The question of semantically distinguishable allomorphs was further developed by Gronemeyer (2014b: 421-432), who identified -ab as the suffix for ‚animated‘ instrumentals (including objects considered animate, such as music instruments) – i.e. for the medium enabling an action (Gronemeyer 2014b: fn. 407) – and -ib as the ‚inanimated‘ alloform for instruments, results, and places of action., which is also given as the name of a supernatural entity in an iconic rendering on the stucco-facade of an early Classic platform at Copan called Yehnal (Bell et al. 2004: Plate 2; Sedat & Lopez 2004: 94, Stuart 2004:225, Taube 2004:276, Fig. 13.7a), as well as on cache vessels from the Tikal region (Stuart 2004:225, Berjonneau & Sonnery 1985: 355). It is likely an epithet or an aspect of the supernatural named next.

The subsequent phrase k’in+ta[h]n+bolay? „Sun-Chest-‚Feline'“ refers to a supernatural predator feline that has been identified by Nikolai Grube and Werner Nahm (1994:687-688) on Kerr Vessel 5316)This feline creature features a large sun symbol covering its ventral side. On K531, the spelling is K’IN-TAN-la-T832-la-bu, and because of the -la suffix, ta[h]n is to be understood here as „chest“ and must be attributive to k’in; otherwise, the suffix cannot be explained with the preposition ta[h]n „amidst“, which is derived from the noun. The name can be analysed as k’in+ta[h]n-[a]l bolay? „sun-chested feline“. See Grube & Nahm (1994: 688) for the rationale behind the proposed reading bolay and Helmke & Nielsen (2009: Fig. 2) for their proposal of the value BOL for the headless.jaguar grapheme. The regular spelling as attested in Palenque may be an underspelling, but is more likely a simple nominal compound k’in+ta[h]n+bolay. Alternatively, a different analysis of the name could apply, with a stative predicate and a prepositional phrase constituting k’in-Ø ta[h]n bolay? „it [is] the sun amidst the feline“. as a way of the ruler(s) of the Kan-dynasty and as an aspect of the night sun. This name also occurs in similar spellings as component of nominal phrases7)For example, its use at Tikal (Stela 3, C3-D3), Yaxchilan (Stela 18, C1-B2) and Ek‘ Balam (Miscellaneous Text 7, B13-B14)., together with its occurrence in the name of one of Palenque’s patron gods, may hint to some kind of link to the Kan-Dynasty not yet known from direct textual evidence.

The possible „adoption“ of k’in+ta[h]n+bolay from the Kan-Dynasty and its merger with Palenque’s patron god GIII may indicate that political conflicts were not only fought in the human sphere, but also had a supernatural component as „spiritual warfare“, including the „capture“ of supernatural entities and their incorporation into the victor’s pantheon. The actual cause seem to be the former defeats of Palenque by the Kan-Dynasty under its Ruler „Scroll Serpent“ in A.D. 599 and A.D. 611 (Martin 1995:109, Martin & Grube 2000:104,161, 2008:159-160) and the ultimately successful retaliations against apparent vassals of Kan. These events brought Santa Elena back under Palenque’s control (Martin & Grube 2008:164-165) during the reign of K’inich Janab Pakal the Great. Later, his successor K’inich Kan Balam further restored Palenque as regional power when he fought a successful military campaign against Tonina in A.D. 687; reinstalled the ruler of Moral-Reforma, a former vassal of the Kan-Dynasty; and further incorporated La Mar and Anayte‘ into Palenque’s political sphere (Martin & Grube 2008:170).

The other name phrase consists of three collocations (C3-C4) and includes tz’atz’+nah, followed by another term in D3, sak bak+nah „white bone(s) house“, which modifies chapat „centipede“ in C4. The tripartite construction mirrors the structure ‚epithet/aspect + [proper name of supernatural]‘ of the other being. Altogether, the epithet is tz’atz’+nah sak bak+nah+chapat, which likely addresses GIII as a specific mythical centipede (whose template is most probably the Giant Central American Centipede, Scolopendra gigantea [Taube 2003]). This mythical centipede is known as a supernatural creature of the way-category under the designation as sak bak+nah+chapat (Kerr Vessel #1256) (Grube and Nahm 1994: 702, Boot 1999: 2, Kettunen & Davis 2004: 2-3). At Palenque, it is also mentioned in the inscription of Temple XIV as being the way of k’awil. But tz’atz’+nah as an attributive term in the name of the mythical centipede is only known thus far from the text discussed here. The possible referent of tz’atz’+nah will be discussed further below. The mentioned mythic centipede is associated with the destructive aspect of the Sun God as a deity of the dry season and with war, in which context it is known as huk chapat+k’inich (Boot 1999, 2005:250-256). Furthermore, it is linked to a dark and watery underworld locale known as wak+(h)a‘ „Centipede Water(s)“, a place of both the death and the mythical rebirth of the maize god that was also the ancient name of the site El Perú (Guenter 2005:364, Matteo & Krempel 2011:145). Both building names in the epithet clearly relate to this underworldly realm, including dark and moist places, as well as those used for burial, locations that are also generally correspond to the habitat of centipedes (Lewis 1981).

The passage under discussion closes with the collocations in D4-D5, at-n-i k’a[h]k‘ ti’+chan? ‚GIII‘ „‚GIII became bathed in fire at sky?-mouth‘, which seems not to be another epithet, but another sentence with GIII as the subject that relates to an event immediately following the (re)birth of GIII. We observe two prepositional phrases, neither of which is not explicitly introduced by the preposition ti ~ ta. However, this preposition is not necessarily needed, especially when verbs of motion are involved8)For example, compare the texts on Kerr 1226, D3-E4 with e[h]m[-i] chan itzam yej and the Palenque Tablet of the Cross, D7-D8 with e[h]m[-i] ta chan jun ye-nal cha[h]k. Also note the och[-i] ti ha‘ and och[-i] ta ha‘ references in the Dresden Codex on pages 61, B12 and 70, D13, respectively. These expressions resemble the well-known death expression, which, although once termed ‚intransitive compounds‘ (Grube 2004: 74-75), are more likely cases of an unwritten, and possibly even unspoken, preposition (Gronemeyer 2014b: 415-416).. More delicate analytically is the morphology of the ‚bathing‘ expression. While „to bath“ is an instransitive verb in almost all modern Mayan languages (Wichmann 2004: 83), it has to have been a derived transitive verb at-i in Classic Mayan (cf. MacLeod 2004: 294)9)It is derived with the Ch’olan applicative suffix -i < proto-Mayan *-in, and is also reconstructed as such in proto-Mayan as *át-iVn / *at-í:n (Fox 1978: 107)., as it is attested in the paradigm of the transitive, so-called ’secondary verbs‘. A nominal root at „bath“ is still attested in several Mayan languages, e.g. Ch’orti‘ and Tzotzil. As no ergative pronoun is visible to mark the agent, however, we nevertheless are dealing with an intransitive form in this case. Application of an inchoative suffix -an seems to be the most obvious derivational process10)An inchoative typical for Western Ch’olan can still be found in Chontal as -ʔa(-n) / -ʔi and -n-an / -n-i, as well as Ch’ol as -ʔa-n / -ʔa (i.e. incompletive/completive, cf. MacLeod 1987: fig. 15), prompting a Western Ch’olan *-a-n / *-a(j). The existence of a -Vn inchoative suffix has already been recognised by Stuart (2005: 72), but based on syntactic observations, and at present specifically on attestations of ajaw, „lord“ in inscriptions ranging from Middle Classic Naranjo (Altar 1) to Late Classic Palenque (House C East Face Eaves). The origin of this suffix cannot thus be only Western Ch’olan; indeed, we can also reconstruct *-V1n ~ *-in for proto-Tzeltalan (Kaufman 1972: 142), and it is likely that Eastern Cholan did not inherit the suffix from a proto-Ch’olan form.. The original Classic Mayan -an form then innovated into -n-i in the Tabasco region beginning around 9.12.0.0.0 (Gronemeyer 2014a: 153, 2014b: 508-509), and is still preserved in Chontal11)The suffix with its typical spelling -ni then spread eastwards (such as the intransitive positional -wan as well). The few attested cases outside Palenque suggest a temporal and spatial distribution that included Tamarindito and Naranjo in 9.13, Tikal in 9.15, and Copan and Seibal in 9.16.. This assumption is also supported by the disharmonic a-ti-ni spelling: although it resembles the derived verbal stem, it cannot be a fully phonetic representation of at-an, which would presumably be spelled *a-ta-ni. Instead, a-ti-ni more likely spells at-n-i, without an -an suffix.

This phrase seems to allude to a renewal or ‚rebirth‘ of GIII by incorporating the aforementioned entity from Kan’s pantheon and thus fusing it into a new, modified entity. The ‚bathing‘ alludes to the common practice of bathing a child shortly after birth and is used here metaphorically in reference to GIII’s (re)birth through the ritual of dedicating and installing a newly-created image of GIII in the temple. The „bathing in fire at sky-mouth“ may relate to the image of GIII set up in the Temple of the Sun – either a statue and/or the central image on the tablet – that is illuminated by the sun on the horizon at dawn and thus literally bathed in the fire or heat of the sunlight12)The compound ti’+chan, literally „sky-mouth“ or „sky-edge“, can be interpreted as a term for „horizon“ or „mountain ridge“, i.e. where the sky touches the earth. Compare to YUK chi‘ ka’an, „cordillera de sierra“ (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 97) and similar metaphors, e.g. chi‘ kab, „costa de mar“ or chi‘ ch’e’n, „borde de pozo“ (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 91), or the lexicalised chik’in, „el poniente u occidente, donde se pone el sol“ (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 99). Conceptions of an edge or boundary of two entities as being a ‚mouth‘ are common in Mayan languages, e.g. ITZ chi‘ ja‘, „orilla del lago“, chi‘ k’ab‘-naab‘, „costa del mar“ (Hofling & Tesucún 1997: 208); CHR ti‘ e witzir, „mountain pass“ (Wisdom 1950: 672); CHN u ti‘ otot, „puerta de la casa“ (Keller & Luciano 1997: 239); TZE ti‘ q’uinal, „(la) orilla del monte“ (Slocum & Gerdel 1971: 188); TZO tiˀ k’ok‘, „fireside“ (Laughlin 1975: 337).. Observations by Alonso Mendez, Edwin Barnhart, Christopher Powell and Carol Karasik (2005) have revealed that a statue standing in the centre of the Temple of the Sun would be fully illuminated by the rising sun on the day of summer solstice (June 21) (Mendez et al. 2005: 14-15, Fig. 16) and on the day of the nadir passage (November 9), when a broad beam of light enters the temple’s central doorway (Mendez et al. 2005:19-20, Figs. 24-27). Further, it is worth noting that the latter date of the nadir passage falls just shortly after the day of GIII’s mythical birth on October 25 (2360 B.C.).

C1 SIH-ya-ja
si[y]-aj-Ø
N:gift-INTRZV.INCH-3s.ABS
born was
D1-D2 K’INICH-TAJ-WAY°bi K’IN-ni-TAN-na BOL?-yu-la
k’in-ich taj+way-[a]b k’in+ta[h]n+bolay?
N:sun-ADJVZ N:torch VI:sleep-NMLZ.INSTR N:sun+N:chest+N:feline
‚radiant torch-dreamer‘, [the] ’sun-chest-feline‘ [and]
C3-C4 2tz’a-NAH-hi SAK-BAK-NAH CHAPAT
tz’atz’+nah sak bak+nah+chapat
N:pool+N:house ADJ:white N:bone+N:house+N:centipede
‚pool-house‘, [the] ‚white bone-house centipede‘
D4-D6 a-ti-ni K’AK‘ TI‘-CHAN K’INICH ?-?-wa
at-n-i-Ø k’a[h]k‘ ti’+chan k’in-ich ?+?
N:bath-INTRZV.INCH-COMPL-3s.ABS N:fire N:mouth+N:sky N:sun-ADJVZ N:?+N:?
[the] ‚radiant ?‘ [i.e. GIII] became bathed [in] fire [at] ’sky-mouth‘

Table 2. Interlinear linguistic analysis of passage C1-D6 of the Tablet of the Sun.

Is there an actual tz’atz‘ nah at Palenque?

As in other Maya cities, most of the (mythical) place- and building names recorded at Palenque constitute a mythic/symbolic landscape projected on the local topography and the man-made structures therein, in the form of building groups, plazas, and single buildings, that constitute the ancient city (Stuart 2005, 2006: 88-93). This also includes the Temple of the Sun, whose ancient name k’inich pas+kab „Radiant Rise Earth“ is recorded in the dedication inscription on its balustrades (Stuart 2005, 2006: 158). This toponym probably refers to the still-visible outcrop of whitish limestone rock that was integrated in unaltered form into the western side of the Temple of the Sun’s pyramidal base, and which appears „radiant“ when lit by the rising sun. Therefore, we assume that tz’atz’+nah and sak bak+nah in GIII’s epithet refer not to the Temple of the Sun itself, but instead more generally to the habitat of GIII as mythical centipede. But this does not exclude the possibility that actual locations or structures in the city of Palenque or even nearby the shrine of GIII were perceived as such, and thus may have been addressed in the epithet. Thus the question arises: What actual structure at Palenque could have been denominated tz’atz’+nah?

The area covered by the urban core of Palenque is divided by a number of perennial and seasonal streams that originate from springs within the urban settlement and farther uphill (French 2002, 2009, Barnhart 2001). The all-over importance of bodies of water and their management at the site of Palenque has most recently been discussed in several studies by Kirk French (2002, 2009, 2014) and is clearly reflected in the toponym lakam ha‘, „Large/Big Water(s)“, which refers to the centre of the site.

Palenque’s hydraulic structures not only served practical functions by providing drinking water and water for sanitary installations, but also played an important role in the symbolic and ritual landscape of Palenque. As is known from numerous Maya texts and images, bodies of water play an important role as places of origin in Classic Maya mythology. In this context, Palenque in particular has a detailed mythological record in which watery places play a crucial role (cf. Kelley 1965, Stuart & Houston 1994: 30, 69, Stuart 2005, 2006). Such places are mentioned in the texts and depicted in the accompanying pictorial programmes.

The ancient urbanonym lakam ha‘ (Stuart & Houston 1994: 30-31) clearly relates to the dominating body of water and the biggest of Palenque’s streams which is today known as Otulum (Stuart 2006: 92), but seemingly refers to the palace acropolis and adjacent area (Gronemeyer in press). Furthermore, this and other streams have been managed by the Maya in various ways by means of man-made constructions like open channels, vaulted aqueducts and pools (French 2002, 2009, French et al. 2012, 2013), of which the channel and aqueduct of the Otulum running below the Cross Group and past the Palace are the most prominent.

Importantly, the Otulum stream which passes the Cross Group to the west, enters the artificial walled and partly vaulted channel at the height of the northern side of Temple of the Sun (Barnhart 2001: 12, Fig. 2.3; Stuart 2006: 87) (Figure 3). The positioning of the location at which the Otulum stream enters the artificial channel in relation to the Temple of the Sun’s northern margin may not be accidental. Instead, it may be an alignment intended to symbolically link them to important locations as parts of Palenque’s symbolic landscape.: It can be observed that the entry of the open channel, the centre of both the Temples of the Sun and the Foliated Cross, and the central platform in the Cross Group Plaza together define a straight NW-SE-axis roughly aligned with the top shrine on Mirador mountain (see Barnhart 2001: 8, Map 2.1), the latter most probably being identical with Palenque’s prime sacred mountain, y-e[h]m-al k’uk‘ lakam witz „Descent of the Quetzal (from) the Big Mountain“ (Stuart 2006:92, Gronemeyer in press). The Otulum was obviously the most important spring in Palenque’s sacred landscape and is probably linked with the mythic watery location matwil, the mythic birthplace of all three patron gods (Stuart & Stuart 2008: 211). These observations, together with the previously discussed meanings of the root tz’atz‘ in combination with nah to designate a man-made structure or building, may provide an indication of the structure to which tz’atz’+nah is referring.

Figure 3. Map of the Palenque Cross Group, by Edwin Barnhart (2001: fig. 2.3).

Basing on the previous observations, we furthermore propose that tz’atz’+nah may refer to an actual structure at Palenque. An appropriate candidate would be a hydraulic structure that is closely associated with the Temple of the Sun and the spring of the Otulum stream, namely the channel and the vaulted aqueduct controlling the course of the Otulum stream along the Cross Group and the Palace.

References

Domingo, Andrés, Karen Dakin, José Juan Leandro López, and Fernando Peñalosa
1996 Diccionario Akateko-Español. Ediciones Yax Te’, Rancho Palos Verdes.
Aulie, H. Wilbur, and Evelyn W. de Aulie
1978 Diccionario ch’ol-español, español-ch’ol. Serie de vocabularios y diccionarios indígenas Mariano Silva y Aceves 21. Instituto Linguistico de Verano, México, D.F.
Barnhart, Edwin L.
2001 The Palenque Mapping Project: Settlement and Urbanism at an Ancient Maya City. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Graduate School, University of Texas, Austin, TX.
Barrera Vásquez, Alfredo
1980 Diccionario Maya. Maya-Español, Español-Maya. Ediciones Cordemex, Mérida.
Beliaev, Dmitri
2004 Wayaab’ Title in Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions. On the Problem of Religious Specialization in Classic Maya Society. In Continuity and Change: Maya Religious Practices in Temporal Perspective, edited by Daniel Graña-Behrens, Nikolai Grube, Christian M. Prager, Frauke Sachse, Stefanie Teufel, and Elisabeth Wagner, pp. 121–130. Acta Mesoamericana 14. Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben.
Bell, Ellen E., Marcello A. Canuto, and Robert J. Sharer (editors).
2004 Understanding Early Classic Copan. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia.
Boot, Erik
1999 Of Serpents and Centipedes: The Epithet Wuk Chapaht Chan K’inich Ahaw (Notes on Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, 25). Unpublished manuscript. Rijswijk.
2005 Continuity and Change in Text and Image at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico: A Study of the Inscriptions, Iconography, and Architecture at a Late Classic to Early Postclassic Maya Site. CNWS Publications 135. CNWS Publications, Leiden.
Berjonneau, Gérald, and Jean-Louis Sonnery (editors).
1985 Rediscovered Masterpieces of Mesoamerica: Mexico-Guatemala-Honduras. Editions Arts, Bologna.
Berlin, Heinrich
1963 The Palenque Triad. Journal de la Société des Américanistes 52(1): 91–99.
Bricker, Victoria R.
1986 A Grammar of Mayan Hieroglyphs. Middle American Research Institute Publication 56. Tulane University: Middle American Research Institute, New Orleans, LA.
Comunidad Lingüística Awakateka
2001 Tqan qayool: vocabulario awakateko. Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala, Guatemala.
Comunidad Lingüística Mam
2003 Pujb’il yol mam: vocabulario mam. Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala, Guatemala.
Comunidad Lingüística Q’anjob’al
2003 Jit’il q’anej yet q’anjob’al: vocabulario q’anjob’al. Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala, Guatemala.
Cú Cab, Carlos Humberto, Juan Carlos Sacb’a Caal, Juventino Pérez Alonzo, María Beatriz Par Sapón, Marina Magdalena Ajcac Cruz, Matilde Eustaquio Caal Ical, Nikte’ María Juliana Siis Ib’ooy, Pakal José Obispo Rodríguez Guaján, Saqijix Candelaria López Ixcoy, Teodoro Cirilio Ixcoy Herrera, Walter Rolando Pérez Morales, and Waykan José Gonzalo Benito Pérez
2003 Maya choltzij: vocabulario comparativo de los idiomas mayas de Guatemala. Cholsamaj, Guatemala.
de Diego Antonio, Diego, Adán Francisco Pascual, Nicolas de Nicolas Pedro, Carmelino Fernando Gonzalez, and Santiago Juan Matias
2001 Diccionario del idioma q’anjob’al. Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín, Antigua.
Fox, James A.
1978 Proto-Mayan Accent, Morpheme Structure Conditions, and Velar Innovations. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Linguistics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
French, Kirk D.
2002 Creating Space through Water Management at the Classic Maya Site of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
2009 The Hydroarchaeological Approach: Understanding the Ancient Maya Impact on the Palenque Watershed. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
2014 Palenque Pool Project. http://palenquepoolproject.blogspot.com/
French, Kirk D., Christopher J. Duffy, and Gopal Bhatt
2012 The Hydroarchaeological Method: A Case Study at the Maya Site of Palenque. Latin American Antiquity 23(1): 29–50.
2013 Urban Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering at the Classic Maya Site of Palenque. Water History Journal 5(1): 43–69.
Gronemeyer, Sven
in press The Linguistics of Toponymy in Maya Hieroglyphic Writing. In Places of Power and Memory in Mesoamerica’s Past and Present: How Toponyms, Landscapes and Boundaries Shape History and Remembrance. Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Berlin.
2014a E pluribus unum: Embracing Vernacular Influences in a Classic Mayan Scribal Tradition. In A Celebration of the Life and Work of Pierre Robert Colas, edited by Christophe Helmke and Frauke Sachse, pp. 147–162. Acta Mesoamericana 27. Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben.
2014b The Orthographic Conventions of Maya Hieroglyphic Writing: Being a Contribution to the Phonemic Reconstruction of Classic Mayan. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Archaeology, La Trobe University, Melbourne.
Gronemeyer, Sven, Christian M. Prager, and Elisabeth Wagner
2015 Evaluating the Digital Documentation Process from a 3D Scan to a Drawing. Vol. 2. Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya Working Paper. Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste & Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn.
Grube, Nikolai
2004 The Orthographic Distinction between Velar and Glottal Spirants in Maya Hieroglyphic Writing. In The Linguistics of Maya Writing, edited by Søren Wichmann, pp. 61–81. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.
Grube, Nikolai, and Werner Nahm
1994 A Census of Xibalba: A Complete Inventory of Way Characters on Maya Ceramics. In The Maya Vase Book: A Corpus of Rollout Photographs of Maya Vases, edited by Justin Kerr and Barbara Kerr, 4:pp. 437–470. Kerr Associates, New York, NY.
Guenter, Stanley P.
2005 Informe Preliminar de la Epigrafía de El Perú. In Proyecto Arqueológico El Perú-Waka’: informe no. 2, temporada 2004, edited by Héctor L. Escobedo and David A. Freidel. Instituto de Antropología e Historia de Guatemala, Guatemala. http://www.mesoweb.com/resources/informes/Waka2004.html
Haeserijn V., Estéban
1979 Diccionario k’ekchi’ español. Piedra Santa, Guatemala.
Harris, John F.
1993 New and Recent Maya Hieroglyph Readings. The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Helmke, Christophe, and Jesper Nielsen
2009 Hidden Identity & Power in Ancient Mesoamerica: Supernatural Alter Egos as Personified Diseases. Acta Americana 17(2): 49–98.
Hofling, Charles A.
2011 Mopan Maya – Spanish – English dictionary / diccionario Maya Mopan – Español – Ingles. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.
Hofling, Charles A., and Francisco Fernando Tesucún
1997 Itzaj Maya – Spanish – English Dictionary. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.
Houston, Stephen D., David S. Stuart, and John S. Robertson
1998 Disharmony in Maya Hieroglyphic Writing: Linguistic Change and Continuity in Classic Society. In Anatomía de una Civilización: aproximaciones interdisciplinarias a la cultura maya, edited by Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, Yolanda Fernández, José Miguel García Campillo, Josefa Iglesia Ponce de Leon, Alfonso Lacadena García-Gallo, and Luis Sanz Castro, pp. 275–296. Publicaciones de la S.E.E.M. 4. Sociedad Española de Estudios Mayas, Madrid.
Kaufman, Terence
1972 El proto-tzeltal-tzotzil: fonología comparada y diccionario reconstruido. Centro de Estudios Mayas, Cuaderno 5. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Méxcio, D.F.
2003 A Preliminary Mayan Etymological Dictionary. Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies (FAMSI). http://www.famsi.org/reports/01051/pmed.pdf
Keller, Kathryn, and Plácido Luciano
1997 Diccionario chontal de Tabasco (mayense). Serie de vocabularios y diccionarios indígenas Mariano Silva y Aceves 36. Summer Institute of Linguistics, Tucson, AZ.
Kelley, David H.
1965 The Birth of the Gods at Palenque. Estudios de Cultura Maya 5: 93–134.
Kerr, Justin
n.d. Maya Vase Database. http://research.mayavase.com/
Kettunen, Harri, and Bon V. Davis II
2004 Snakes, Centipedes, Snakepedes, and Centiserpents: Conflation of Liminal Species in Maya Iconography and Ethnozoology. Vol. 9. Wayeb Notes. Wayeb: European Association of Mayanists, Bruxelles.
MacLeod, Barbara
1987 An Epigrapher’s Annotated Index to Cholan and Yucatecan Verb Morphology. University of Missouri Monographs in Anthropology 9. University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.
2004 A World in a Grain of Sand: Transitive Perfect Verbs in the Classic Maya Script. In The Linguistics of Maya Writing, edited by Søren Wichmann, pp. 291–325. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.
Laughlin, Robert M.
1975 The Great Tzotzil Dictionary of San Lorenzo Zinacantán. Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology 19. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
Lewis, John G. E.
1981 The Biology of Centipedes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Maldonado Andrés, Juan, Juan Ordonoez Domingo, and Juan Ortiz Domingo
1983 Diccionario de San Ildefonso Ixtahuacan, Huehuetenango. Verlag für Ethnologie, Hannover.
Lacadena García-Gallo, Alfonso, and Søren Wichmann
2004 On the Representation of the Glottal Stop in Maya Writing. In The Linguistics of Maya Writing, edited by Søren Wichmann, pp. 100–164. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.
Lounsbury, Floyd G.
1985 The Identities of the Mythological Figures in the Cross Group Inscriptions of Palenque. In Fourth Palenque Round Table, 1980, edited by Elizabeth P. Benson, pp. 45–58. The Palenque Round Table Series 4. The Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, San Francisco, CA.
Martin, Simon
1997 Nuevos datos epigráficos sobre la guerra maya del clásico. In La Guerra entre los Antiguos Mayas, edited by Silvia Trejo, pp. 105–124. Memoria de la Primera Mesa Redonda de Palenque. Instituto Nacional de Anthropología e Historia, Méxcio, D.F.
Martin, Simon, and Nikolai K. Grube
2000 Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. Thames & Hudson, London.
2008 Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. 2nd ed. Thames & Hudson, London.
Matteo, Sebastián F. C., and Guido Krempel
2011 Un vaso cilíndrico polícromo de la región de Rio Azul, Guatemala, en una colección privada. Mexicon 33(6): 142–146.
Maudslay, Alfred P.
1889 Biologia Centrali-Americana, or, Contributions to the Knowledge of the Fauna and Flora of Mexico and Central America. Archaeology. R. H. Porter and Dulau & co., London.
Mendez, Alonso, Edwin L. Barnhart, Christopher Powell, and Carol Karasik
2005 Astronomical Observations from the Temple of the Sun. Archaeoastronomy (Journal of Astronomy in Culture) 19: 44–73.
Mora-Marín, David F.
2004 Affixation Conventionalization Hypothesis: Explanation of Conventionalized Spellings in Mayan Writing. Chapel Hill, NC.
Ramírez Perez, José, Andrés Montejo, and Baltazar Díaz Hurtado
1996 Diccionario Jakalteko, Jakaltenango, Huehuetenango. Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín, Antigua.
Sedat, David W., and Fernando Lopez
2004 Intial Stages in the Formation of the Copan Acropolis. In Understanding Early Classic Copan, edited by Ellen E. Bell, Marcello A. Canuto, and Robert J. Sharer, pp. 85–99. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia.
Slocum, Marianna, and Florencia Gerdel
1971 Vocabulario tzeltal de Bachajón. Serie de vocabularios y diccionarios indígenas Mariano Silva y Aceves 13. Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, Méxcio, D.F.
Stuart, David S.
1998 The Fire Enters His House: Architecture and Ritual in Classic Maya Texts. In Function and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture, edited by Stephen D. Houston, pp. 373–425. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.
2004 The Beginnings of the Copan Dynasty: A Review of the Hieroglyphic and Historical Evidence. In Understanding Early Classic Copan, edited by Ellen E. Bell, Marcello A. Canuto, and Robert J. Sharer. University Of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology And Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA.
2005 The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque: A Commentary. The Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, San Francisco, CA.
2006 Sourcebook for the 30th Maya Hieroglyphic Forum at Texas. Department of Art and Art History, the College of Fine Arts, and the Institute of Latin American Studies, Austin.
Stuart, David S., and Stephen Houston
1994 Classic Maya Place Names. Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology 33. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.
Stuart, David S., and George E. Stuart
2008 Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya. Thames & Hudson, London.
Taube, Karl A.
2003 Maws of Heaven and Hell: The Symbolism of the Centipede and Serpent in Classic Maya Religion. In Antropología de la eternidad: la muerte en la cultura maya, edited by Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, Mario Humberto Ruz, and Josefa Iglesia Ponce de Leon, pp. 405–442. Publicaciones de la S.E.E.M. 7. Sociedad Española de Estudios Mayas, Madrid.
2004 Structure 10L-16 and its Early Classic Antecedents: Fire and the Evocation and Resurrection of K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’. In Understanding Early Classic Copan, edited by Ellen E. Bell, Marcello A. Canuto, and Robert J. Sharer, pp. 265–295. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia.
Ulrich, E. Matthew & Rosemary Dixon de Ulrich
1976 Diccionario Maya Mopan – Español, Español – Maya Mopan. Instituto Linguistico Verano, Guatemala City.
Wichmann, Søren
2004 The Names of Some Major Classic Maya Gods. In Continuity and Change: Maya Religious Practices in Temporal Perspective, edited by Daniel Graña-Behrens, Nikolai Grube, Christian M. Prager, Frauke Sachse, Stefanie Teufel, and Elisabeth Wagner, pp. 77–86. Acta Mesoamericana 14. Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben.
Wisdom, Charles
1950 Materials on the Chorti Language. Vol. 28. icrofilm Collection of Manuscripts on Middle American Cultural Anthropology. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Zender, Marc
2004 On the Morphology of Intimate Possession in Mayan Languages and Classic Mayan Glyphic Nouns. In The Linguistics of Maya Writing, edited by Søren Wichmann, pp. 195–209. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.
2014 Diacritical Marks and Underspelling in the Classic Maya Script: Implications for Decipherment. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Calgary.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. This research paper abstains from indicating or reconstructing vowel complexity on the basis of supragraphematic vowel disharmony, as has been proposed in two studies (Houston, Stuart & Robertson 1998, Lacadena & Wichmann 2004). There are two main reasons for this approach: 1) although both proposals operate under similar premises, their conclusions are rather distinct; and 2) no consensus on the mechanisms of disharmonic spellings has yet been reached, resulting in alternative views on the reasons underlying the phenomenon of vowel disharmony (e.g. Kaufman 2003, Mora-Marín 2004, Gronemeyer 2014b). We neither neglect previous research nor entirely dismiss the possibility of a quantitative Classic Mayan vowel system and its orthographic indication. Before the project has collected sufficient epigraphic data and can test previous proposals against the existing evidence or formulate new hypotheses, we prefer to pursue an unprejudiced approach in terms of the epigraphic analysis and to be rather conservative, while also noting that the transcriptional spelling in one model may also vary between authors. We therefore apply a broad transliteration and a narrow transcription, but only as far as sounds can be reconstructed by methods from historical linguistics. This last point essentially concerns the aspirated vowel nucleus, as in e.g. k’a[h]k‘.
2. Note that in several cases, the Greater Q’anjobalan and Eastern Mayan retroflex affricate /tx(‚)/ is cognate to the Chujean, Greater Tzeltalan, and Yukatekan alveolar /tz(‚)/ or alveopalatal /ch(‚)/ affricate (cf. Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: 17-18); e.g. compare the pan-Mayan tx’i‘ and tz’i‘, „dog“ (Cú Cab’ et al. 2003: #547); or more specifically AKA/POP/QAN tx’i(i) e(‚/h) and CHJ ch’i‘ eh, „canine tooth“ (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #224); CHJ chonhlab‘ ~ CHR chojnib‘ ~ QAN/AKA txomb’al ~ POP txonhb’al, „market“ (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #71); KIC/TZU chuluuj ~ KAQ/SAK/SIP chulaj ~ CHJ chul ~ QEQ chu‘ and AKA/QAN txule(j) ~ POP jatxul, „urine“ (Cú Cab et al. 2003: #279); or AKA/QAN tza’e(j) ~ POP kotz’a and AWA xtx’aa‘ ~ IXL txa‘ ~ MAM tx’aj, „shit“ (Cú Cab‘ et al. 2003: #277).
3. For a morphophonemic characterization of the Greater Q’anjobalan branch and discussion of its implications for the Ch’olan branch and Classic Mayan, see Gronemeyer (2014b: 143, 149-153).
4. As an aside, the phonetic origin of tz’atz‘ may be onomatopoetic, imitating the sound of the steps when walking over muddy or wet ground.
5. By analysing syllabic and mixed spellings in a variety of contexts, Dmitri Beliaev (2004) was able to demonstrate the existence of the -ib ~ -ab allomorphs for the instrumental suffix in Classic Mayan, usually indicated by -bi and more rarely by -ba spellings. He argues that, in the present context, -ab functions as an agentive suffix for deriving a word related to „dreamer“ (Beliaev 2004: 141), in contrast to the well-known interpretation of way-ib as „dormitory“. The question of semantically distinguishable allomorphs was further developed by Gronemeyer (2014b: 421-432), who identified -ab as the suffix for ‚animated‘ instrumentals (including objects considered animate, such as music instruments) – i.e. for the medium enabling an action (Gronemeyer 2014b: fn. 407) – and -ib as the ‚inanimated‘ alloform for instruments, results, and places of action.
6. This feline creature features a large sun symbol covering its ventral side. On K531, the spelling is K’IN-TAN-la-T832-la-bu, and because of the -la suffix, ta[h]n is to be understood here as „chest“ and must be attributive to k’in; otherwise, the suffix cannot be explained with the preposition ta[h]n „amidst“, which is derived from the noun. The name can be analysed as k’in+ta[h]n-[a]l bolay? „sun-chested feline“. See Grube & Nahm (1994: 688) for the rationale behind the proposed reading bolay and Helmke & Nielsen (2009: Fig. 2) for their proposal of the value BOL for the headless.jaguar grapheme. The regular spelling as attested in Palenque may be an underspelling, but is more likely a simple nominal compound k’in+ta[h]n+bolay. Alternatively, a different analysis of the name could apply, with a stative predicate and a prepositional phrase constituting k’in-Ø ta[h]n bolay? „it [is] the sun amidst the feline“.
7. For example, its use at Tikal (Stela 3, C3-D3), Yaxchilan (Stela 18, C1-B2) and Ek‘ Balam (Miscellaneous Text 7, B13-B14).
8. For example, compare the texts on Kerr 1226, D3-E4 with e[h]m[-i] chan itzam yej and the Palenque Tablet of the Cross, D7-D8 with e[h]m[-i] ta chan jun ye-nal cha[h]k. Also note the och[-i] ti ha‘ and och[-i] ta ha‘ references in the Dresden Codex on pages 61, B12 and 70, D13, respectively. These expressions resemble the well-known death expression, which, although once termed ‚intransitive compounds‘ (Grube 2004: 74-75), are more likely cases of an unwritten, and possibly even unspoken, preposition (Gronemeyer 2014b: 415-416).
9. It is derived with the Ch’olan applicative suffix -i < proto-Mayan *-in, and is also reconstructed as such in proto-Mayan as *át-iVn / *at-í:n (Fox 1978: 107).
10. An inchoative typical for Western Ch’olan can still be found in Chontal as -ʔa(-n) / -ʔi and -n-an / -n-i, as well as Ch’ol as -ʔa-n / -ʔa (i.e. incompletive/completive, cf. MacLeod 1987: fig. 15), prompting a Western Ch’olan *-a-n / *-a(j). The existence of a -Vn inchoative suffix has already been recognised by Stuart (2005: 72), but based on syntactic observations, and at present specifically on attestations of ajaw, „lord“ in inscriptions ranging from Middle Classic Naranjo (Altar 1) to Late Classic Palenque (House C East Face Eaves). The origin of this suffix cannot thus be only Western Ch’olan; indeed, we can also reconstruct *-V1n ~ *-in for proto-Tzeltalan (Kaufman 1972: 142), and it is likely that Eastern Cholan did not inherit the suffix from a proto-Ch’olan form.
11. The suffix with its typical spelling -ni then spread eastwards (such as the intransitive positional -wan as well). The few attested cases outside Palenque suggest a temporal and spatial distribution that included Tamarindito and Naranjo in 9.13, Tikal in 9.15, and Copan and Seibal in 9.16.
12. The compound ti’+chan, literally „sky-mouth“ or „sky-edge“, can be interpreted as a term for „horizon“ or „mountain ridge“, i.e. where the sky touches the earth. Compare to YUK chi‘ ka’an, „cordillera de sierra“ (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 97) and similar metaphors, e.g. chi‘ kab, „costa de mar“ or chi‘ ch’e’n, „borde de pozo“ (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 91), or the lexicalised chik’in, „el poniente u occidente, donde se pone el sol“ (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 99). Conceptions of an edge or boundary of two entities as being a ‚mouth‘ are common in Mayan languages, e.g. ITZ chi‘ ja‘, „orilla del lago“, chi‘ k’ab‘-naab‘, „costa del mar“ (Hofling & Tesucún 1997: 208); CHR ti‘ e witzir, „mountain pass“ (Wisdom 1950: 672); CHN u ti‘ otot, „puerta de la casa“ (Keller & Luciano 1997: 239); TZE ti‘ q’uinal, „(la) orilla del monte“ (Slocum & Gerdel 1971: 188); TZO tiˀ k’ok‘, „fireside“ (Laughlin 1975: 337).

Medien und Text

Schriftträger

Als Schrift- und Bildträger diente eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Materialien, doch in dem tropisch-feuchten Klima blieben vorwiegend Inschriftenträger aus Stein erhalten, die freistehend (Stelen oder Altäre), architekturgebunden (Türsturze, Wandtafeln oder Treppen) oder auf Oberflächen in der natürlichen Umwelt angebracht waren (Höhlen).

Daneben existiert eine große Zahl gemalter Inschriften auf Keramikgefäßen, die vorwiegend im Kontext von Grabanlagen entdeckt wurden. Zahlreiche Texte wurden auch auf Artefakten aus Jade, Tier- und Menschenknochen, Muschel- und Schneckengehäusen eingraviert. Dabei handelt es sich um persönliche Gegenstände der Mitglieder des Adels, die vorwiegend aus Gräbern und vereinzelt auch aus Hortfunden stammen.

Wandmalereien mit Szenen des höfischen Alltags und hieroglyphischen Beischriften in Palast- und Tempelräumen sowie in Höhlen bilden eine weitere Quellengattung. Sowohl im privaten als auch im öffentlichen Raum angebracht, geben sie Einblick in die Sozialstruktur am königlichen Hof und in das Alltagsleben des Adels.

Zuletzt sind noch die Kodizes, leporelloartige Faltbücher aus Rindenbastpapier, zu erwähnen, von denen jedoch nur drei Exemplare erhalten sind und heute in verschiedenen Museen in Europa aufbewahrt werden. Diese Kodizes datieren in das Ende der Postklassik.

Textumfang

Angeordnet wurden die Zeichen im Text nicht linear, sondern in räumlich abgetrennten, quadratisch oder rechteckigen Einheiten (so genannte „Blocks“), die in den meisten Fällen auch einem Wort entsprechen. Eine statistische Untersuchung zur durchschnittlichen Anzahl der Hieroglyphenblocks und deren Verteilung in einem Text liegt nicht vor und kann erst nach deren Erfassung in einer Textdatenbank vorgenommen werden. Stelen, die auf der Vorderseite meist figürliche Darstellungen, oft begleitet von kurzen Texten, tragen, weisen auf der Rückseite häufig weitere Hieroglyphentexte auf, die je nach Region zwischen 10 und 120 Blocks enthalten können.

Genaue Zahlen liegen beispielsweise aus Pusilha vor, einer Fundstätte im Süden von Belize. Auf den zehn erhaltenen Stelen befinden sich insgesamt 553 Hieroglyphenblocks und zusammen mit den übrigen zehn Textträgern dieses Ortes zählt man 581 Hieroglyphenblocks. Eine Studie der Monumentalskulpturen von Dos Pilas, Guatemala, ergibt, dass sich auf den 14 Stelen 572 Hieroglyphenblocks befinden, was einen Durchschnitt von 41 Blocks pro Monument ergibt. In Pusilha hingegen wurden durchschnittlich 55 Blocks pro Stele gezählt.

Weitaus längere Texte mit bis zu 500 Hieroglyphenblocks befinden sich auf so genannten Hieroglyphentreppen, wie sie etwa in Sabana Piletas, Dos Pilas, Yaxchilan oder Copan entdeckt wurden, wobei die Hieroglyphentreppe von Copan mit rund 2500 Blocks den längsten Monumentaltext des Mayagebiets aufweist. Die längsten Texte der Mayakultur befinden sich in den drei Kodizes mit insgesamt 5770 erhaltenen Hieroglyphenblocks.

Weitaus kürzer, aber zahlenmäßig häufiger, sind Texte auf Kleinobjekten, die zwischen einem und bis zu 20 Blocks aufweisen können. Die Textgestaltung auf den knapp 2000 dokumentierten beschrifteten Keramikgefäßen ist keineswegs einheitlich. Neben Gefäßen, die nur einen einzigen Schriftblock enthalten können, sind Texte mit beinahe 100 Hieroglyphenblocks dokumentiert. Die geschätzte durchschnittliche Zahl an Blocks beläuft sich auf etwa 20.

Ein Hieroglyphenblock entspricht in der Mehrzahl der Fälle einem Wort und besteht aus 3 bis 4 Zeichen, so dass sich auf einer Stele mit zwischen 40 und 50 Blocks etwa 200 bis 300 Schriftzeichen befinden. Rechnet man mit diesen großzügig gerundeten Zahlen, so ergeben sich für die etwa 8.000 dokumentierten Mayahieroglyphen-Texte rund 400.000 Hieroglyphenblocks. Eric Thompson listete in seiner Konkordanz der Mayahieroglyphen rund 25.000 Hieroglyphenblocks auf, wobei seine Zusammenstellung selektiv ist, viele Klassifikationen falsch und kalendarische und astronomischen Textstellen, sowie die Texte auf Vasen nicht berücksichtigt wurden.

Eine exakte statistische Untersuchung liegt über die Hieroglyphen der Kodizes vor: In den insgesamt 5770 erhaltenen Hieroglyphenblocks zählt man 14150 Zeichen, was einer durchschnittlichen Zahl von 3 Zeichen je Block entspricht (Zimmermann 1956). Basierend auf dieser Zahl ist für das gesamte Textkorpus der vorspanischen Mayakultur mit einer Gesamtzahl von etwa 2,4 Millionen Schriftzeichen zu rechnen.

Textbestand

Das Fehlen eines Verzeichnisses aller bekannten Texte sowie das sich stetig durch archäologische Ausgrabungen erweiternde Korpus machen eine exakte Abwägung der Anzahl unmöglich. Sylvanus Morleys Liste von 1948 kann als Ausgangspunkt zur Erstellung eines Inventars herangezogen werden: sie führt 115 Fundorte mit 1313 Textträgern auf, die größtenteils durch Kalenderbeischriften datierbar sind. Morleys Liste war aber seinerzeit bereits lückenhaft, da der Autor überwiegend Monumentalinschriften mit Kalenderinformationen berücksichtigte. Die damals im Rahmen von archäologischen Projekten geborgenen Keramikgefäße und Kleinfunde mit Inschriften blieben unberücksichtigt, da die Texte nach dem damaligen Verständnis der Mayaschrift keine sprachlichen Informationen enthielten.

Heute sind bislang 491 archäologische Stätten der Mayakultur mit einem geschätzten Gesamtkorpus von annähernd 5000 Textträgern bekannt. Hinzu kommen noch knapp 500 Inschriftenträger aus Stein, mehrere hundert Kleinobjekte sowie einige tausend beschriftete Keramikgefäße unbekannter
Provenienz. Die provisorische Zusammenstellung aller Textträger zeigt, dass aus dem mexikanischen Bundesstaat Yucatán knapp 500, aus Campeche rund 800, aus Quintana Roo etwa 100, aus Tabasco etwa 200 und mit etwa 1200 Texten aus dem Bundesstaat Chiapas in Mexiko insgesamt 2800 Texte bekannter Herkunft vorliegen. Aus dem zentralen Tiefland des Mayagebietes, dem heutigen guatemaltekischen Departamento Petén, liegen zirka 1300 Texte, aus dem Hochland Guatemalas rund 100 und aus Belize gut 200 Schriftträger aus gesichertem archäologischen Kontext vor. Aus Honduras und El Salvador sind bis heute rund 600 Hieroglyphentexte bekannt, die vornehmlich aus Copan stammen. Zu diesem Textkorpus kommen noch rund 500 Monumentaltexte, 2000 beschriftete Keramikgefäße und etwa 300 Texte auf Kleinobjekten unbekannter Herkunft hinzu. Schließlich kommen die insgesamt 271 Seiten der drei erhaltenen Mayahandschriften hinzu, so dass, sehr vorsichtig geschätzt, das Gesamtkorpus bisher bekannter Texte etwa 8000 Objekte umfasst.

Schwieriger einzuschätzen ist die Zahl von Texten, die in den kommenden Jahren und Jahrzehnten entdeckt werden, da zahlreiche Mayastädte weiterhin unentdeckt im Urwald verborgen liegen, bisher bekannte Stätten entweder gar nicht oder nur teilweise archäologisch untersucht wurden und in gut erschlossenen Stätten bei neuen Ausgrabungen ebenfalls neues Quellenmaterial zu erwarten ist. Auszuschließen ist auf jeden Fall eine solch hohe Anzahl von Texten, wie sie bislang aus dem pharaonischen Ägypten oder dem keilschriftzeitlichen Mesopotamien bekannt geworden ist. Bei archäologischen Ausgrabungen in neu entdeckten als auch bereits bekannten Fundorten des Mayatieflandes kamen zwischen 1980 und 2000 rund 900 neue Inschriften zutage. Während der Projektphase ist ebenfalls mit zirka 900 neuen Textfunden zu rechnen.

Museen und Sammlungen

Museen und Sammlungen mit Maya-Inschriften

Außer den Gebäuden und Monumenten an den Fundorten selbst, bilden die zahlreichen Objekte in Museen und Sammlungen eine wesentliche Quelle für die Erstellung des für den Aufbau der Korpusdatenbank erforderlichen Inventars an Mayainschriften.

Die folgende Liste soll alle für die Wissenschaft und die interessierte Öffentlichkeit zugänglichen Sammlungen von Objekten der Mayakultur in Museen und archäologischen Stätten für Recherchen zur Verfügung stellen. Die Liste ist nicht statisch, sondern wird laufend aktualisiert und ergänzt, die letzten Änderungen sind in der rechten Seitenleiste zu finden, ebenso das letzte Änderungsdatum bei jedem Eintrag.

Außerdem werden Besucher dieser Webseite eingeladen, über die rechts stehende Seitenleiste neue Museen oder Sammlungen oder auch Korrekturen, Änderungen oder Aktualisierungen zu bereits aufgeführten Museen zu melden, damit diese dann in die Liste aufgenommen bzw. bestehende Einträge aktualisiert werden können.

Außer Name und Standort werden auch Kontaktdaten und – soweit vorhanden – die Onlinepräsenzen des jeweiligen Museums mit Links zu seiner Webseite und Kanälen in sozialen Medien aufgeführt. Als Hilfsmittel zur weiteren Recherche erscheinen auch Direktlinks zu dessen Katalogen und Datenbanken mit Beständen an Objekten der Mayakultur, sofern verfügbar.

Zur genauen Georeferenzierung werden – soweit vorhanden – die IDs von Geonames, sowie Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) und Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) aufgeführt. Zu jedem Datensatz erscheint auch eine Karte (Google Maps), auf der die genaue Lage des jeweiligen Museums angezeigt wird.

Zur Museumsliste…

Bei Referenzierung der Museumsliste benutzen Sie bitte folgende Zitierweise:

Elisabeth Wagner, Mallory Matsumoto, Nikolai Kiel und Sven Gronemeyer

2014- A Checklist of Museums with Maya Art. Publiziert auf: http://www.mayawoerterbuch.de, letzter Abruf: 29.7.2014.

Virtuelles Inschriftenarchiv

Das virtuelle Inschriftenarchiv mit Abbildungen, Transkriptionen und Übersetzungen wird in den Digitalen Sammlungen der ULB integriert und steht dauerhaft für die Öffentlichkeit zur freien Recherche zur Verfügung (siehe Abbildung unten). Für die Erstellung, Verwaltung und Speicherung der textuellen und graphischen Korpusdaten wird die virtuelle Forschungsumgebung TextGrid eingesetzt. Diese ermöglicht ein vernetztes, kollaboratives Arbeiten und die Nutzbarmachung von Informationstechnologien für sprachwissenschaftliche und korpuslinguistische Analysen.

Beispiel Maya Inschriften Archiv

Die geplante Inschriftendatenbank mit Zeichnung, Textanalyse und Übersetzung von Stele 1 aus Uxul (Entwurf C. Prager / Zeichnung N. Grube)

Lexikalische Datenbank

Die lexikalische Datenbank wird als Bestandteil der virtuellen Forschungsumgebung TextGrid in deren Repository eingebunden und archiviert, so dass die Forschungsdaten auch über den Ablauf des Projekts hinaus langfristig, nachhaltig und sicher aufbewahrt werden. Regelmäßig werden Zwischenergebnisse im öffentlichen Teil des TextGrid Repositorys publiziert, so dass alle Forschungsdaten vollumfänglich via Open Access für die Öffentlichkeit zugänglich sind. Um eine Zitierfähigkeit der Daten zu gewährleisten, werden via TextGrid Persistent Identifier erstellt und Updates über eine Versionierung dokumentiert. Die Daten des Inschriftenarchivs werden in der Digitalen Sammlung der ULB bereitgestellt und für die Präsentation aufbereitet. Das Sprachwörterbuch des Klassischen Maya basiert auf der linguistischen Interpretation der Daten und wird in digitaler sowie abschließend in Buchform bei der Bonn University Press, einem Imprint von Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht V&R unipress, veröffentlicht.

Das Wörterbuch umfasst sowohl alle Schrift- und Sprachdaten einschließlich unentzifferter Textstellen, als auch Zitate der jeweiligen Textstellen in originaler hieroglyphischer Schreibung und Transliteration. Es berücksichtigt zudem zeitliche Angaben sowie lokale Differenzierungen und enthält epigraphische und sprachwissenschaftliche Analysen sowie kulturhistorische Kommentierungen. Die Lemmata werden nach dem Vorbild des Chicago Akkadian Dictionary angeordnet und striktalphabetisch sortiert. In der Mikrostruktur sind Angaben über die Wortart, Übersetzungen in Deutsch, Englisch und Spanisch, den Anwendungszeitraum sowie die Anzahl der Vorkommen zum Zeitpunkt der Edition des Wörterbuchs enthalten. Im graphematischen Abschnitt werden alle Schreibweisen des Wortes in Transliteration und numerischer Klassifikation mit Belegstellennachweis und Originalschreibweise angegeben, gefolgt von der linguistischen Analyse der Wortwurzel. Im Belegstellennachweis werden alle Vorkommen der Morpheme in ihrem unmittelbaren Verwendungskontext angezeigt und die entsprechenden Phrasen in Transliteration und Übersetzung abgebildet. Jeder Wörterbucheintrag endet mit Literaturangaben sowie Verweisen zu verwandten Lemmata. In der digitalen Version des Wörterbuchs werden darüber hinaus alle Einträge von den original hieroglyphischen Schreibungen begleitet.

s