Mayan numerals

From: Jameson Quinn <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 17:46:40 -0600

Resend; apparently first attempt was spamfiltered because I wasn't
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jameson Quinn <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 14:23:08 -0600
Subject: Mayan numerals

I understand that there are deep and thorny issues in encoding Mayan
hieroglyphs in general. The script is not fully deciphered; evolved
over more than a millenium; existed in distinct petroglyphic and codex
forms; rules for combining elements varied; certain glyphs and fragments are
debatable as to whether they're distinct or mere variants, for several
reasons; etc. But I don't think it makes any sense to hold off on
encoding the basic numerals until all that's resolved. The numerals
are used in modern texts easily twenty times as much as the
calenderical glyphs, and four hundred times as much as any other
glyphs. I've seen dozens of books, from various publishers, which use
the numerals as (supplemental) page numbers; and also dozens of texts
on Mayan mathematics which use them.

I'd like to see at least 20 glyphs for the (horizontal-barred)
numerals. Perhaps another 20 with the vertical forms, while we're at
it. I don't think the "face" versions of the numbers deserve the same
accelerated schedule; they can wait until the other issues are

I live in Guatemala and could approach the ALMG (national standards
body for the modern Mayan languages; not directly associated with
classic Mayan epigraphy but certainly an interested party nonetheless)
about making this
proposal. Do others agree that it's needed?
Received on Wed Aug 15 2012 - 18:56:31 CDT

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