Bonn Researchers Want to Compile a Mayan Dictionary

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The Maya built gigantic pyramids, were masters at calculating, and left behind some 800 mysterious signs. Researchers want to study the Maya hieroglyphs and compile a “Dictionary of Classic Mayan” in a 15-year-long project.

It is something of a Sisyphean task, because, in order to reach this goal, a ten-person research team wants to compile and digitalize over the coming years some 10,000 inscriptions from the time period between A.D. 250 and 900, as the project director Nikolai Grube said on Wednesday in Düsseldorf. On the basis of this work, the dictionary will be compiled as a database and in print. It is intended to represent the entire vocabulary of the Maya. “The key to the script still has to be found in order to gain insight into the ancient Indian culture before the arrival of the European conquerors,” Grube said.

more …[in German]