Michael Coe's classic inside story of one of the major intellectual breakthroughs of our time―the last great decoding of an ancient script―has been updated throughout and now includes an epilogue that brings the reader up to date in the fast-changing field of Maya decipherment.
Among the more exciting advances to be described are: the discovery of the specific Maya language and sophisticated grammar used by the ancient scribes on stone monuments and painted vases; archaeological explorations of tombs and buildings of the ancient founders of the great city of Copan, whose very existence had been predicted by epigraphers through glyphic decipherment; the realization that many small city-states were dominated by two rival giants, Tikal and Calakmul, through a potent combination of military conquest, diplomacy, and royal marriages.
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