In the past dozen years, Maya decipherment has made great strides, in part due to the Internet, which has made possible the truly international scope of hieroglyphic scholarship: glyphic experts can be found not only in North America, Mexico, Guatemala, and western Europe but also in Russia and the countries of eastern Europe.The third edition of this classic book takes up the thorny question of when and where the Maya script first appeared in the archaeological record, and describes efforts to decipher its meaning on the extremely early murals of San Bartolo. It includes iconographic and epigraphic investigations into how the Classic Maya perceived and recorded the human senses, a previously unknown realm of ancient Maya thought and perception.There is now compelling documentary and historical evidence bearing on the question of why and how the "breaking of the Maya code" was the achievement of Yuri V. Knorosov--a Soviet citizen totally isolated behind the Iron Curtain--and not of the leading Maya scholar of his day, Sir Eric Thompson. What does it take to make such a breakthrough, with a script of such complexity as the Maya? We now have some answers, as Michael Coe demonstrates here.
This volume is worth reading for anyone with even the remotest interest in language, archeology or epigraphy - it is just so engaging!
This volume is worth reading for anyone seriously interested in the topic of Mayan glyphs due to its extensive bibliograpy and references.
I enjoyed it, but it might not be that great for someone without an interest in linguistics or language. Its major flaw, I think, is that the author has tried to find a middle ground between being too technical and being too vague, and has ended up with something that can be both. It's not textbook rigorous, but it might be a little too complicated for someone without any linguistic background. Despite his attempts to explain all the concepts, they are pretty complicated and come at you fast.
Now I want to read the updated version to find out what the research in this area since 1994 has revealed.