Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ancient American civilization: Mysterious Mayan hieroglyphs – Handelsblatt

addition to impressive ruins such as Palenque Mexican here in the Maya have also left about 800 characters. Source: dpa

Dusseldorf The Maya built huge pyramids, were masters in arithmetic – and they left behind some 800 enigmatic characters. Now, researchers at the University of Bonn want to explore the hieroglyphs of the Maya and “Creating Dictionary of the Classical Maya” one. In 15 years, the research project

is terminated. It is a real labor of Sisyphus. Because in order to achieve the goal, will the ten-member team of researchers develop some 10,000 inscriptions from the period of 250 BC to 900 AD and digitize. Based on this, should be created as a database and printed dictionary. It is intended to reflect the entire vocabulary of the Maya.

Archaeologists have discovered on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula a large ruined city. Covering an area of ​​more than 22 hectares and remains of numerous buildings, it was stated that Chactún one of the largest Maya settlements in the region, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced on Tuesday.

All photos by Mauricio Marat / National Institute of Anthropology and History

Picture: AP

“The key for the font has to be found to get a glimpse of the ancient Indian culture before the arrival of European conquerors” so Nikolai Grube, head of the project.

Also, the grammar and spelling of the ancient Mayan language should be explored. Helpful is that still approximately six to eight million people in Mexico and Guatemala dominate around 30 Mayan languages. Through language comparisons, the researchers want the classic Maya reconstruct.

“Globally, we are in Bonn, the Research Centre for the decipherment of Mayan writings,” the Altamerikanist mine says, not without pride. The long-term project is funded with a total of 5.4 million euros from federal and state governments.

30 to 40 percent of the Mayan glyphs are considered not yet been deciphered. Some texts have already been decrypted, but others not yet. “It’s like a crossword puzzle,” says Grube. “The more one has solved, the easier it is to fill in the white boxes.” But in some places bite you then but the teeth out. Meanwhile, the scientists found at least that there was an eastern and a western dialect of the Maya.

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