Mexican nature is one of the major touristic attractions in this country. However, what else cannot be left without attention is Mexican culture. In this post, we would like to share some fascinating facts about the Mayan script.
The civilization of Maya is one of the most ancient in the world. Like many other ancient civilizations, they have created the script based on glyphs. These were symbols of humans, animals and spirits incurved in the stone or casted in plaster. This language is one of the most difficult to decipher, and by now we have managed to understand only about 90% of the script.
BASIC CONCEPTS ABOUT THE MAYAN SCRIPT
Here are some funny facts that you probably have not known about the language and script of Maya:
- First of all, what is it – the language of Maya?
It is believed that the majority of texts were written in Chiolti, the extinct Mayan language of the eastern Guatemala. It was like English to the Mayan world, but there were other languages used as well. Among them - Maaya T’aan, the language widespread on the Yucatan peninsula.
- The Mayan writing system is logosyllabic, with each glyph representing either a syllable (morpheme) or an entire word, much like in modern Chinese. Some of them even get closer to phonographic writing when a word started to mean just a certain combination of sounds. At times, two or more symbols combined together forming a ligature.
- The symbols are square-shaped and look very beautiful. One can understand why Maya used them so much in decorating temples and palaces (also, for religious purposes, though).
- Mayan hieroglyphs used to be written in the columns of two. In each, the Maya started to read from left to right, from the top to the bottom.
- We only approximately know how the language of Maya used to sound. We know how to read about 80% of the characters. The reading rules and phonetics are very complicated but trying to solve the mystery of this ancient civilization makes it worth trying.
BECOME AN EXPLORER
In Mexico, you can see this incredible cultural phenomenon with your own eyes. Just go and visit one of the ancient cities like Tulum, Chichen Itza or Yaxchilan. There you will also see their architecture and will get an incredible opportunity to discover how the Maya used to live many centuries ago.