Week Two
Teotihuacan, Monte Albán, and the Classic-era Maya

I. The 'Classic' period

A. Oaxaca

- Monte Albán, 500 B.C.E. - 800 C.E.

B. Maya, 200 - 900 C.E.

- Tikal, Quiriguá, etc.(Guatemalan lowlands)
- Palenque (Chiapas)
- Copán (Honduras)

C. Central Mexico, 150 B.C.E. - 700 C.E.

- Teotihuacan

Feathered Serpent (Quetzalcoatl)

- Cholula

II. Mesoamerican writing

Mesoamerica is one of only five cultures in the world to have developed writing independently. The others are Sumerians (Iraq), Chinese, Harappans (Pakistan) and Egyptians.

A. Glyphs: Pictographic, logographic, phonetic symbols

- Maya glyphs record words and grammar/syntax

- Mixtec, Zapotec, Nahua writing uses all three types of symbols but does not record grammar/syntax

B. Stelae
C. Precolumbian and colonial-era codices
D. Colonial-era manuscripts

- Popol Wuj

K'iche' Maya
Santa Cruz el Quiche (Guatemala)
1703, copied by Francisco Ximénez
1850s, removed to and published in Europe

III. Learning to read Maya

A. Influence of 19c antiquities

- 1798, Rosetta Stone
- Frederick Catherwood, John Lloyd Stephens
- Diego de Landa, Relación de las cosas de Yucatán (written 1566, discovered 1862)

B. Breaking the code in the 20c

- 1950s, Yuri Knorosov
- 1960s, Tatiana Proskouriokoff
- 1970s-90s, Linda Schele, David Stuart