Breaking the Maya Code tells the story of the last great decipherment of an ancient script. Twenty years ago the ruined monuments of Maya civilization were mute, the hieroglyphic inscriptions on magnificent stelae, temples and palaces largely unread. Today, thanks to an extraordinary scientific breakthrough, these inscribed remains are revealing a history lost to humanity for a millennium. Michael Coe is uniquely placed to give the inside story of this revolution in understanding. Himself a world-renowned Maya scholar, he has known or worked with all the main protagonists over the last thirty years: Yuri Knorosov, the brilliant Russian philologist who opened the way to reading the records; Eric Thompson, the dominant Mayanist of his generation, who vehemently opposed Knorosov; and the succeeding scholars who have vindicated the Russian's pioneer work. Coe interweaves a riveting tale of intellectual attack and counterattack with a full overview of what we now know about the ancient Maya themselves. With 112 illustrations 304 pages.
About The Author
Michael D. Coe
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University, Michael D. Coe is a specialist in the comparative study of ancient, tropical forest civilizations. Coe's books include The Maya, Mexico, The True History of Chocolate, Breaking the Maya Code, Reading the Maya Glyphs, and Angkor and the Khmer Civilization.
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