Mayan numerals (again)

From: Jameson Quinn <>
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2013 13:19:44 -0600

Last year, I started a discussion about proposing the Mayan numerals for
inclusion in Unicode. Several people on the list supported this idea, and
encouraged me to submit a proposal. I did not manage to do so last year,
but I am ready to now.

I have access to dozens of different books with their page numbers, tables
of contents, and publication dates in mayan numerals. Several of them use
the numerals in other ways, such as numbered lists or century numbers (ie,
"siglo 16", 16th century, with 16 in Mayan numbers). All of these are from
a single publishing house, and I know of 2 other publishers who use similar
practices. None of the samples I have are textbooks, and it is common for
math textbooks here in Guatemala to have a section on Mayan numerals,
typically with a few simple addition problems or the like.

The publisher of the books I have is interested, and would probably sign on
to my proposal, though it would take about a month for them to get full
consensus on this.

I can also provide photos of Guatemalan currency notes, which have mayan as
well as arabic numerals on them.

I'd like to propose 40 glyphs: the vertical and horizontal versions of the
digits 0-19. The zero glyph would be in it's "shell" form; the several
minor variants of this form would be considered as the same base glyph.
This initial proposal would not include head variants or the petroglyphic
"flower" zero, nor would it include petroglyphic marginal decorations on
the glyphs for 1, 6, 11, and 16, as all of those are generally used in a
context of fully glyphic writing, which has a number of difficult technical
issues to resolve before it's ready for unicode. (Although I could provide
at least one modern example of a glyphic text; this is at least to some
degree a living art today, though it was dead for centuries.)

I'd like to know what should be my next step, and if anyone who's more
experienced with unicode procedures would like to advise me more closely.

Jameson Quinn
Received on Sun Jun 23 2013 - 14:25:45 CDT

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