Cracking the Maya Code

Links & Books


Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions
This project, run by Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, has a lofty goal: record and disseminate information about all known ancient Maya inscriptions and their associative art. On this well-designed site, examine stelae and other artifacts from 16 Maya sites in detail, with help from commentary, photos, line drawings, and site maps.

This extensive Web site offers dozens of downloadable articles, academic papers, translations, and other useful resources for studying the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America.

Maya Hieroglyphic Writing
The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies provides this Web resource for deciphering Maya hieroglyphs. Browse online Maya dictionaries, download PDF files of famous Maya codices, and more.

The Mesoamerica Center
On this Web site from the University of Texas, Austin, read research papers on ancient Maya writing, browse field reports from archeological sites, and participate in a discussion board on the art and culture of Mesoamerica.

Maya Decipherment
Read in-depth discussions of Maya hieroglyphic decipherment on this blog hosted by Mesoamerican scholar David Stuart.

Yucatec Maya Language
Find a Yucatec Maya vocabulary list, pronunciation guide, and more on this Web site devoted to the study of that language.

Breaking the Maya Code
David Lebrun, producer of NOVA's "Cracking the Maya Code," made a two-hour version of the film with the title above. On his company's Web site, you can learn more about the story of the decipherment and the film's production, watch animations on the workings of the Maya script, and explore resources including an archive of more than 20 interview transcripts.


Breaking the Maya Code
by Michael D. Coe. Thames & Hudson, 1999.
NOVA's "Cracking the Maya Code" was based on this book.

Reading the Maya Glyphs
by Michael D. Coe and Mark Van Stone. Thames & Hudson, 2005.

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs
by John Montgomery. Hippocrene Books, 2002.

Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World
by Lynn V. Foster. Oxford University Press, 2005.

The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque
by David Stuart. Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, 2005.


"Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs"
by Harri Kettunen and Christophe Helmke. Workshop Handbook, 10th European Maya Conference, 2005.

Related NOVA Content

Lost King of the Maya
Using ancient hieroglyphs and new excavations, archeologists investigate the rise and fall of the majestic city of Copan.

Great Inca Rebellion
Mass graves and forensic evidence reveal a complex truth about how the Inca Empire fell.

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