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Reading the Maya Glyphs Hardcover – 5 Nov 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 1st Edition edition (5 Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500051100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500051108
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.8 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 729,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Wallace on 26 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book if you want to try to get your head around the resding of Mayan glyphs.
Be warned though this is not for the faint hearted, you will need to read this fairly closely and have it on hand when you encounter your glyphs on site. It is a very complex subject but it is reasionably easy to get to the point where you can read at least part of the inscriptions and adds an extra interest to any Mayan site. However a lot of the clearest glyps are to be found in museums in the Mayan area and in world museums, it helps to have a photocopy of a drawing done by a academic to see what the symbols are on site.
the good news is that the little tests set every few pages are a terrific boost to confidence as you work through it. So if you do go for it persevere and it will be rewarding.
David Wallace
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vergilius on 16 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book! The book is neatly typeset with the regular text in black, the mayan glyphs in maroon red, and to mark exercises a tasteful gray line. The book is bound in faux-leather cloth with golden letters on the back. Though not laid out as one would expect a book about a language and grammar to bee it does indeed tell about these features: but, perhaps due too the subjects history and decipherment, the language is explained after and on the basis of the hieroglyphic signs and not the other way around. What I miss in this book is paradigms. There are nowhere to bee seen anything like an overview of grammatical forms and I feel this can be somewhat boring for the language average nerd who want to read about the Maya language for the sake of the language in se, and not only merely to understand inscriptions.

The book does also contain explanations of the mayan calendar, as one would expect, but not only that but also cultural information that aids the understanding of signs and vocabulary that is introduced. In the back of the book is a table with all the syllabograms, i.e. all the consonant-vowel-signs, and thereafter in alphabetical order according to their reading a sign list and "glossary" of mayan. There's a key to all the exercises in the book, an index of all topics covered, and a somewhat too brief bibliography.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By caroline on 11 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
I didn't give it five.......'coz'

I have it not learnt as yet how to read the hyrogliphs as yet. The secret is all there, waiting for me to unlock the mystmysteries.I think I'd better look at my own language.Nicely presented book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
The Best Book for Novice Epigraphers 26 Jan 2002
By Blah - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently took a Maya Glyph class and was getting destroyed trying to follow the teacher. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. When I got this book things started to make sense. (Unfortunately, I bought it too late in the semester to help my grade any.) Coe presents glyphs and the accompanying grammar in a concise clear manner that even those with no prior experience in any related subject can understand. The Maya Lexicon is also a helpful tool for tyros like me who are just beginning to study this fascinating writing system. While it is true that these examples are stylized and not from actually monuments, for the beginner this is much easier to follow. In addition, the accompanying text is well written and an enjoyable read.
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
If only I could do 3.5 stars 20 Aug 2007
By Pat Muchmore - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm giving this 4 stars, because it just doesn't seem right to rank it as only an average book, it's really fantastic. However, having done a lot of (admittedly amateur) study of the Maya script, I found this book problematic in a few areas. First, you should know that some of the grammar presented here is still very much debatable--especially the sections on morphosyllables and syllabic disharmony. If you don't have any idea what that means, don't worry, Coe explains it well. The answers are just a little more hypothetical than the presentation suggests.

John Montgomery's book "How to Read Maya Hieroglyphs" is a little more conservative on those topics, and is generally more in-depth and scholarly. The book on this page, on the other hand, is better illustrated and has practice exercises that are extremely helpful. Ideally, I would recommend owning both--the overlap is not as bad as you might think and they have different strengths for bringing along in visits to sites like Palenque and their museums. If you must choose one, the Coe book is a quicker study and better designed for practicing and looking up material such as the syllabary easily. The Montgomery gives you decidedly more info and a more solid foundation. I hope this review helps you choose the best one for your taste. Either way, enjoy studying this difficult and beautiful script.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and Accessible 11 Nov 2004
By Candace E. Pruett - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book beautifully printed with exquisite glyphs printed in red ink, it is also coherent and accessible to everyone interested in Maya hieroglyphs. It takes almost no time to read and fully understand, and is a perfect introduction and reference tool. A must have for any Maya enthusiast.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Clear, concise and simple extraordinary 2 Oct 2013
By Miguel A. Guzman Garcia - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am fan of Mayas, also worte a novel about it, The Last Mayan Angel, and really like this book who enlights my thougts
I fully recommen it
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Better than Cracking the Maya Code 9 May 2013
By Salvador Carrillo M - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is better for just understanding and learning about the Maya glyphs. It has exercises and all the glyphs are in red (the book uses two colors: black for letters and red for glyphs). This actually helps a lot. Buy this book if you don't know anything about mayan glyphs and want to learn. Maya writing is very different from english and this is reflected deep into the glyphs, so is not too easy to learn by yourself, but this book will help.
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