Essay heading: Maya

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July 1, 2009






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The age and proliferation of Maya writings have been recognized since about 1900, when the calendrical content of Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions was deciphered and the dates correlated with the Christian calendar. For most of the 20th century, only the extensive calendrical data of Maya inscriptions could be read, and as a result, Maya scholars hypothesized that the inscriptions were pure calendrical records...
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Because little evidence of warfare had been recognized archaeologically, the Classic Maya were thought of as peaceful timekeepers and skywatchers. Their cities, it was thought, were ceremonial centers for ascetic priests, and their artwork anonymous, without concern for specific individuals. More recent scholarship changes the picture dramatically...
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