Mayan hieroglyphics have been a mystery of history for a long time. These advanced Mayans developed their own calendar, number system, and of course writing system. These glyphs are still being decoded today. The earliest cracking of the code was in the 1800's, when scholars discovered dates and numbers. Up until the 1950's, most scholars believed that the glyphs were not a language at all. But a Russian ethnologist, Yury Knorozov, proved them wrong. Mayan glyphs are very difficult to interpret. This is because some hieroglyphs represent whole words while others are sounds. Another thing that confused many people is that glyphs had multiple meanings. We have learned much from what we have discovered and interpreted about the Maya.
The Mayans had about 800 hieroglyphs, which were written on two columns and read left to right and up to down. We believe that we have decoded about 85% of known glyphs. These glyphs are mainly found in temples and tombs in Copan, Mexico, Guatemala, and many other Latin-American countries. It was not all hieroglphics have taught us what we know. After the Spanish conquest, Mayan scribes wrote the books Chilam Balam and Popol Vuh, which have taught us about the Mayans history and religion.
The brillant people that have translated Mayan glyphs have uncovered history. Some of them have been uncovering and decoding glyphs since they were children, such as David Stuart. He has been doing this since he was eight. David was awarded the "genius grant" at age 18. He has helped move along the process of decoding the glyphs. David does not only assist with the language of the Mayans, but also their calendar and number system. David Stuart is only one of these intelligent people to help uncover the language of the Maya.
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