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Scripts, Signs, and Pictographies in Pre-Columbian America
Dumba rton Oaks Pr e- C olumbia n Symposia a nd Colloqu ia

Series Editor
Joanne Pillsbury

Editorial Board
Elizabeth Hill Boone
Tom Cummins
Gary Urton
David Webster
Scripts, Signs, and Pictographies
in Pre-Columbian America




2011 Dumbarton Oaks
Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America

15 14 13 12 11 1 2 3 4 5

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Their way of writing : scripts, signs, and pictographies in Pre-Columbian

America / Elizabeth Hill Boone and Gary Urton, editors.
p. cm.(Dumbarton Oaks Pre-Columbian symposia and colloquia)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-88402-368-5 (hardcover : alk. paper)
1. Indians of MexicoLanguagesWriting. 2. Indians of Central AmericaLanguagesWriting.
3. Indians of South AmericaPeruLanguagesWriting. 4. Picture writingMexico.
5. Picture writingCentral America. 6. Picture writingPeru.
7. Mayan languagesWriting. 8. Nahuatl languageWriting.
9. Quechua languageWriting.
I. Boone, Elizabeth Hill. II. Urton, Gary. III. Dumbarton Oaks.
f1435.3.w75t74 2011

General Editor: Joanne Pillsbury

Art Director: Kathleen Sparkes
Text Design and Composition: Melissa Tandysh
Jacket Design: Kathleen Sparkes
Managing Editor: Sara Taylor

Volume based on papers presented at the Pre-Columbian Studies symposium Scripts, Signs, and Notational
Systems in Pre-Columbian America, organized with Elizabeth Hill Boone and Gary Urton and held at
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., on October 1112, 2008.

Cover illustrations: Inka khipukamayuq, drawing 137 of Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, Nueva cornica y
buen gobierno, 1615, photograph courtesy of The Royal Library, Copenhagen. Mixtec scribe, detail, folio 48v
of the Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus.
These books were written in symbols and pictures. This is their way of writing,
supplying their lack of an alphabet by the use of symbols.
f r i a r mo t ol i n i a, 15 4 1,
History of the Indians of New Spain

Before the Spaniards came the Indians of Peru had no knowledge of writing at
all..., but this did not prevent them from preserving the memory of ancient times,
nor did they fail to keep a reckoning for all their affairs whether of peace, war,
or government....[T]hey compensated in part for the lack of writing and let-
ters...principally, with quipus....What they achieved in this way is incredible,
for whatever books can tell of histories and laws and ceremonies and accounts of
business all is supplied by the quipus so accurately that the result is astonishing.
jo s de ac o sta, 159 0,
Natural and Moral History of the Indies
con t en t s

for e wor d | ix
Joanne Pillsbury

1 i n t roduc t ion
Their Way of Writing: Scripts, Signs, and Pictographies
in Pre-Columbian America | 1
Gary Urton

2 The Cold War and the Maya Decipherment | 9

Michael D. Coe

3 All Things Must Change: Maya Writing over Time and Space | 21
Stephen D. Houston

4 The Flowering Glyphs: Animation in Cotzumalhuapa Writing | 43

Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

5 Teotihuacan and the Development of Writing in Early Classic Central Mexico | 77

Karl Taube

6 The Written Surface as a Cultural Code: A Comparative Perspective

of Scribal Traditions from Southwestern Mesoamerica | 111
Javier Urcid

7 Elaboration and Abbreviation in Mexican Pictorial Manuscripts:

Their Use in Literary Themes | 149
Michel R. Oudijk

8 Writing, Images, and Time-Space in Aztec Monuments and Books | 175

Federico Navarrete

9 Ruptures and Unions: Graphic Complexity and Hybridity

in Sixteenth-Century Mexico | 197
Elizabeth Hill Boone

10 Moche as Visual Notation: Semasiographic Elements

in Moche Ceramic Imagery | 227
Margaret A. Jackson

v ii
11 Chuquibamba Textiles and Their Interacting Systems of Notation:
The Case of Multiple Exact Calendars | 251
R. Tom Zuidema

12 Tocapu: What Is It, What Does It Do, and Why Is It Not a Knot? | 277
Thomas B. F. Cummins

13 Khipu Typologies | 319

Gary Urton and Carrie J. Brezine

14 Khipu from Colony to Republic: The Rapaz Patrimony | 353

Frank Salomon, Carrie J. Brezine, Reymundo Chapa, and Vctor Falcn Huayta

15 The Cultural Category of Scripts, Signs, and Pictographies | 379

Elizabeth Hill Boone

c on t r i bu t or s | 391
i n de x | 397

v i i i c on t e n ts
fore word

T he first authors to write about the systems of

recording information used by the Aztec and
Inka, the dominant empires in the Americas in
said he would spread the word about this great sys-
tem himself, were it not for all of his friends in the
printing business who would be put out of work.
the early sixteenth century, stressed the complex- The study of ancient American writing and
ity and efficacy of the scripts, signs, and notational other systems of recording information did not
systems used to register dynastic histories, tax and wane in the nineteenth century. Mesoamerican
tribute lists, and other matters crucial to the opera- systems, in particular, were the focus of many
tion of any large and complex state. The types of studies. We should remember, however, how little
systems used to record information in the ancient was known about ancient American writing at this
Americas varied dramatically, from the glyphic time. The U.S. writer John Lloyd Stephens, travel-
writing in Mesoamerica to the knotted cord ing in the 1840s, described the spectacular monu-
records, or khipus, that facilitated the expansion of ments at the Maya site of Copan. He recognized
the Inka empire in South America. As Elizabeth that hieroglyphs had the potential to reveal rich
Boone and Gary Urton have noted, these early histories, but that they remained unintelligible and
modern authors distinguished such systems from functionally mute. By the late nineteenth century,
writing as they knew it, preferring, like Motolinia, however, essential features of Maya writing, par-
to use the phrase their way of writing or, as was ticularly numeration, had been worked out, setting
often the case in the Andes, simply accounts. Yet the stage for the spectacular decipherments of the
there was no doubt in the minds of these sixteenth- twentieth century.
century authors that such systems were extremely With over a century of serious, sustained re
effective in conveying information. search on Pre-Columbian systems of recording
The European fascination with Pre-Columbian information, it is perhaps a good time to consider
systems of recording information continued or our current state of knowledge. The present vol-
even increased in later centuries. The eighteenth- ume is based on papers presented at the sympo-
century Neapolitan intellectual Raimondo di sium Scripts, Signs, and Notational Systems in
Sangro, principe of Sansevero, was obsessed with Pre-Columbian America, held at Dumbarton
khipus and felt that they could replace European Oaks on October 1112, 2008. Organized with
writing systems, as he considered them a richer and Elizabeth Boone and Gary Urton, this conference
more efficient form of communication. Sansevero was a particularly celebratory one, as it marked the
saw them as the future, not just the past. Indeed, he return of the annual Pre-Columbian symposium

to Washington, D.C., after four years of being Miriam Doutriaux, exhibition associate; and Juan
held off-site while renovations were completed on Antonio Murro, assistant curator, organized two
the Main House at Dumbarton Oaks. Two papers stimulating exhibitions on the history of decipher-
presented at this symposium, by David Stuart and ment designed to coincide with the symposium.
Alfonso Lacadena, were not available for publi- The present volume was prepared by the pub
cation in the present volume. Dumbarton Oaks lications department of Dumbarton Oaks, under
remains indebted to Elizabeth and Gary for their the directorship of Kathleen Sparkes. I am grateful
vision in the scholarly organization of the sympo- to Sara Taylor, art and archaeology editor, for her
sium and for their expertise and tireless efforts in thoughtful work on editorial and production mat-
editing the resulting volume. Their own work on ters. Outside of Dumbarton Oaks, I would like to
the subject of recording information in the ancient thank the two anonymous reviewers for their help-
Americas has set a high standard, and we are for- ful advice.
tunate to have their consideration of the broader The success of any scholarly gathering and
framework for the study of writing and other nota- publication depends upon the free exchange of data
tional systems. and ideas and the rigorous analyses and discussion
I am grateful to Jan Ziolkowski, director of surrounding their presentation. I would like to
Dumbarton Oaks; William Fash, of the Adminis close by thanking the authors in this volume for
trative Committee of Dumbarton Oaks; and the their willingness to share their research. We are
senior fellows in Pre-Columbian Studies for their indebted, as well, to the many distinguished schol-
counsel and support in the organization of the ars who attended the symposium; their good ques-
symposium and the creation of the present vol- tions and comments contributed to the stimulating
ume. The staff at Dumbarton Oaks was unfailingly discussion at the symposium itself and to the ongo-
accommodating, from the symposium planning ing dialogue about the nature of recording infor-
stages to the preparation of this publication. No one mation in the ancient Americas.
was more helpful than Emily Gulick, the program
assistant in Pre-Columbian Studies, whose creativ- Joanne Pillsbury
ity and hard work were behind every stage of this Director of Studies, Pre-Columbian Program
project. Bridget Gazzo, Pre-Columbian librarian; Dumbarton Oaks

x f oreword

The Flowering Glyphs

Animation in Cotzumalhuapa Writing

oswaldo chinchilla mazariegos

T he site of el bal earned a celebrated

place in Mesoamerican archaeology thanks
to the discovery, in the early 1920s, of a large stela
the royal palaceof an extensive city that also
included the monumental compounds at Bilbao
and El Castillo (Figure 4.2). A system of causeways
with a hieroglyphic inscription (Figure 4.1). Walter and bridges integrated these compounds with
Lehmanns (2000 [1926]) reading of the monu- each other and with the extensive surrounding
ments Long Count date as (ad 29 in the settlements. The citys major florescence and the
Goodman-Martnez-Thompson [GMT] correla- majority of its sculptures date to the Late Classic
tion of the Maya and Christian calendars) spurred a period (ad 650950) (Chinchilla Mazariegos 1996;
major controversy at the time, eventually stimulat- Chinchilla Mazariegos et al. 2009).
ing the eminent Maya epigrapher Eric Thompson Since Thompsons time, intensive agriculture,
to undertake excavations at the site in 1942, partly modern urban development, and, to a lesser extent,
in order to refute the monuments early dating archaeological research have added numerous
(Graham 2008; Rodrguez Beteta 1929). While he examples to the corpus of Cotzumalhuapa inscrip-
was unable to arrive at a secure conclusion on the tions. El Bal Monument 59 (Figure 4.3) was uncov-
dating of the stela, Thompson did show that the ered sometime in the early 1990s and removed
sites major occupation belonged to the Late Classic from the site by unknown hands soon after. Juan
period, and his work also included the first serious Antonio Sillers (Rivera and Siller 1995:85) photo-
scrutiny of Cotzumalhuapa writing. graph is the only available documentation of a very
Little has been added in the ensuing decades to interesting example of the Cotzumalhuapa script.
the study of Cotzumalhuapa writing. We now know, The monument shows three notations, each con-
however, that the impressive acropolis of El Bal sisting of a series of ring-shaped numerals associ-
was the largest architectural compoundperhaps ated with a nonnumerical sign that is also inscribed

figure 4.1
El Bal Monument 1.
(Drawing by the author.)

inside a ring. The shape of the stone bears heavily a considerable amount of ancillary information is
on the inscriptions arrangement. No reading order necessary to read these notations, which may be
is evident, and the two head signs are oriented in classified as writing only in a broad sense of the
opposite directionsperhaps focusing atten- term (cf. Boone 2004).
tion on the central notation. These combinations Especially relevant for this essay is the vine
of signs and numerals apparently transmit self- that grows from the central glyph, curling above
contained messages, since they are not associated and blooming with beautiful flowers. Vines are fre-
with images. Based on the evidence of other scripts quently featured in Cotzumalhuapa art, either as
throughout Mesoamerica, we may presume that speech scrolls or as prodigious plants. Indeed, the
they contain dates or calendrical names. Clearly, glyph seems to play the role of a seed that sprouts

4 4 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
figure 4.2
Map of Cotzumalhuapa. The
dotted line corresponds to the
estimated extent of the Late
San Juan Perdido
Classic city, while the shaded areas colonial ruins
indicate the modern urban areas.


(Drawing by the author.)


ew on


us ps

Ca om

t of
obsidian workshop
en it
em lim North Group
ttl d
se io
n er

ba c-p

C a isen
ur ssi

p a la
ua te C

alh a

ball court
m dL
tzu ate

El Bal er


El Bal Bridge

El Convento
colonial ruins bridge
El Castillo


s ew
C au




v ar

0 500 m

The Flowering Glyphs 45

figure 4.3
El Bal Monument 59.
(Drawing by the author.)

fresh vegetation. If nothing else, the flowering vine ical indications of significant shifts that may cor-
marks this glyph as distinct from the others and relate with the influx of migrants during the Early
perhaps adds significance beyond the bare indica- Classic and Postclassic periods. Documentary
tion of a date or a personal name. sources narrate highland Maya and Aztec conquests
These observations highlight some of the que- in the area in the last century before the Spanish
ries posed by the study of Cotzumalhuapa writing, conquest (Chinchilla Mazariegos 1998). Such
which remains one of the least-examined systems dynamic demographic patterns may account for
in ancient Mesoamerica. In this chapter, I present the diversity of writing systems that were employed
a brief description of the system, its sign inven- by coastal peoples. Since the Preclassic period, at
tory, and its possible calendrical meanings; I also least three different systems existed on the Pacific
address two major problems: (1) the relationship coast: (1) the Preclassic system, exemplified on El
of Cotzumalhuapa writing to other scripts, which Bal Monument 1; (2) Teotihuacan writing, intro-
may have an important bearing on the history of duced to the coast in the Early Classic period; and
Mesoamerican writing; and (2) the extraordinary (3) the Late Classic Cotzumalhuapa system.
degree of animation noticeable in some inscrip-
tions, where the signs may acquire full figures and Late Preclassic Writing
become active participants in narrative scenes. In addition to the stela at El Bal, Preclassic writ-
ing is in evidence at the coastal piedmont site of
Takalik Abaj (Figure 4.4). Stratigraphy and radio-
carbon dating of the recently uncovered Altar 48,
Writing on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala
to between 400 and 200 bc, may place the develop-
Through the centuries, the Pacific coast of Guate ment of writing on the coast on a par with preco-
mala has been a melting pot of peoples and lan- cious developments of writing in the Maya Lowlands
guages. While the linguistic history of the area and elsewhere in Mesoamerica (Chinchilla Maza
remains poorly understood, there are archaeolog- riegos 1999; Coe 1976; Houston 2004; Marcus 1976;

4 6 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
V. Sta. Mara
Lake Atitlan

V. San Pedro
Takalik Abaj Kaminaljuyu
V. Toliman Santa Rosa
V. Atitlan El Portal
V. Acatenango
Palo Gordo Lake Amatitlan
Tila Palo Verde
V. Fuego Lake Ayarza
V. Pacaya
Finca San Cristbal Cotzumalhuapa

Los Cerritos Norte


Cdiz-Ulapa V. Tecuamburro




Ro Seco





Montana/Los Chatos


La Mquina

0 50 km
Pacific Ocean La Nueva

figure 4.4
Map of the Pacific coast of Guatemala showing sites mentioned in the text. The underlined names indicate sites with
inscriptions in the Cotzumalhuapa system. (Drawing by the author.)

Saturno et al. 2006; Schieber de Lavarreda and although there is some indication of sign cluster-
Orrego Corzo 2009). Early inscriptions at Takalik ing. While the glyphic cartouches remain visible,
Abaj display linear formats, with signs placed in the details of noncalendrical signs were carved in a
more or less discreet cartouches that often contain very shallow relief that has been completely lost to
only one head sign but may also include sign clus- erosion and exfoliation.
ters. A trend toward a more standardized format of The inscriptions at Takalik Abaj and Cotzum
glyph blocks and smaller cartouche sizes is evident alhuapa reveal the early development of scribal
on Stela 5, whose Initial Series dates correspond to communities across the coast, extending into the
ad 103 and 126, according to the GMT correlation. highland site of Kaminaljuyu and all the way down
The nonnumerical signs are badly preserved, but to Izapa in coastal Chiapas and Chalchuapa in El
they clearly contain sign clusters that suggest com- Salvador. We still do not understand the cessation
plex word formation patterns. of writing, at least on stone monuments, by the
At Cotzumalhuapa, El Bal Monument 1 re end of the Preclassic period. This change happened
mains the only example of Preclassic writing, across the entire region, although there is little sub-
alt hough the supernatural head on the basal panel stantial evidence on its causes and on the specific
of Bilbao Monument 42 may be interpreted as a processes that were involved at each site.
place-name (cf. Stuart and Houston 1994). Besides
its Long Count date, El Bal Monument 1 had a Teotihuacan Writing
long inscription carved in a linear, double-column Karl Taube (2000; this volume) has shown that the
format on clearly demarcated panels. Poor preser- complex clusters of symbols first noted on Early
vation makes it difficult to comment on the script, Classic Escuintla pottery by Nicholas Hellmuth

The Flowering Glyphs 47

(1975) are examples of the Teotihuacan writing sys- including the Xochicalco, Cacaxtla, and Aztec
tem. He suggests that some notations may contain scripts. For the purposes of this essay, the rel-
the personal names of individuals and possibly top- evant question is whether it was also ancestral to
onyms (Taube 2000:1921). Teotihuacan glyphs are Cotzumalhuapa writing. As shown in the follow-
found on mold-made pottery and other portable ing sections, the answer to this question is prob-
objects. Almost without exception, these objects ably no. The circular shape of probable calendrical
are unprovenanced, although they reportedly orig- signs is a shared feature, but the signs themselves
inated from sites on the coastal plain of Escuintla differ noticeably from the possible Teotihuacan
(see Figure 4.4; Berlo 1984; Hellmuth 1975; Shook day signs reported by Alfonso Caso (1966), James
1965). Frederick Bove and Sonia Medranos (2003) Langley (1986), and Karl Taube (2000). Most
research suggests an intrusion of migrants who importantly, sign clusters are entirely absent from
carried Teotihuacan cultural traits and established Cotzumalhuapa sculptures, suggesting a radically
a major center at Montana, a large site located near different approach to graphic communication. This
the modern town of La Gomera. While impor- is not to deny the strong impact of Teotihuacan on
tant, this intrusion was geographically localized. the Pacific coast. Cotzumalhuapa art incorporated
It barely reached the piedmont region, where many elements that were first introduced to the
Cotzumalhuapa is located, and it did not extend to area by the Early Classic Teotihuacan migrants, but
the western coast, where Takalik Abaj remained a it also departed from the Teotihuacan tradition in
substantial center throughout the Classic period. significant ways that include writing.
Extensive research has yielded no examples of the
Teotihuacan script at Cotzumalhuapa or Takalik Cotzumalhuapa Writing
Abaj, the known locations of Preclassic scribal The rise of Cotzumalhuapa coincided with the
communities on the coast. demise of Montana around ad 650; the two events
A description of Teotihuacan writing falls may have been related (Chinchilla Mazariegos et al.
beyond the scope of this essay. Some of Taubes 2009). While Cotzumalhuapa inherited cultural
observations are relevant for comparison with the elements from the earlier Teotihuacan-influenced
Cotzumalhuapa system, however. Teotihuacan peoples of the coastal plain, its style and iconogra-
glyphs are not bound by cartouches or other stan- phy cannot be explained as a derivation from high-
dardized shapes, with the exception of the probable land Mexican or Gulf Coast models, as interpreted
calendrical signs in round cartouches accompa- by earlier observers (Jimnez Moreno 1959; Parsons
nied by bar-and-dot coefficients that appear below 1969:164170; Thompson 1948:2528). Far from imi-
the probable day names (Caso 1966; Taube 2000). tating Teotihuacan models, the Cotzumalhuapa
Noncalendrical signs are usually grouped in clus- artists and their patrons may have consciously
ters that sometimes acquire a large and elaborate reacted against the Teotihuacan presence at Mon
emblematic shape but often are relatively con- tana, tracing their roots back to Preclassic fore-
densed and simplified. In exceptional cases, texts bears. Likewise, the citys script is more remarkable
are arranged in linear format. While the system for its innovations than for its adoption of elements
is undeciphered, Taube highlighted the similarity from the previously described writing traditions.
of Teotihuacan sign clusters to Zapotec and Aztec The Cotzumalhuapa people revitalized the
writing. Alfonso Lacadenas (2008) recent explana- ancient tradition of monumental sculpture that was
tion of Aztec writing as a logosyllabic system raises largely abandoned at the Teotihuacan-influenced
the question of whether the Teotihuacan system Early Classic centers of the coastal plain. Bil
was also logosyllabic. bao, the center of Preclassic activity in the area,
Taube (2000:48) suggests that Teotihuacan was aggrandized and bestowed with monuments
writing was probably the forebear of the Late whose iconography suggests an ancestor cult. The
Classic and Postclassic systems of central Mexico, famous stelae 29 from the Bilbao Monument

4 8 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
Plaza replicate the Preclassic iconographic tradi- itself, which has forty-four inscribed monuments.
tion of representing gods or ancestors emerging Many come from the large compounds of El Bal
from supernatural openings on the monuments and Bilbao, but peripheral locations also boasted
upper registers, perhaps inspired by the example major monuments. Judging from their shape, the
of the Preclassic stela at El Bal (Hatch 1987:474). carved pillars from Goln (Figure 4.5) stood at
The serpent headdresses worn by the paramount the doorway of a large compound that remains
characters on the Late Classic stelae from Bilbao
may also relate to the serpent headdress of the main
character of El Bal Monument 1 (see Figure 4.1).
These traits suggest that the iconography of Late
Classic Cotzumalhuapa art has long roots on the
coast, but that it also incorporated Teotihuacan
elements that were introduced to the area during
the Early Classic period.
The Late Classic Cotzumalhuapans were aware
of the practice of writing by Preclassic peoples,
but they were most likely unable to understand
Preclassic inscriptions such as the text of El Bal
Monument 1. Yet they reset this stela at the major
royal and administrative center of the Late Classic
city, the El Bal acropolis. Moreover, they proba-
bly knew the Teotihuacan script, at least in a broad
fashion. But instead of following this model, they
developed a new system, abandoning the complex
sign clusters that characterize Teotihuacan and later
Aztec writing and relying exclusively on calendri-
cal notations. In this respect, the Cotzumalhuapa
script innovated in ways that foreshadowed the later
development of writing elsewhere in Mesoamerica.

The Cotzumalhuapa Inscriptions

The corpus of Cotzumalhuapa writing consists of
no less than sixty-one sculpted monuments with
inscriptions, plus a small number of portable
objects. The inventory is small, but it compares
favorably with the number of known inscriptions
at roughly contemporaneous sites such as Cacaxtla,
El Tajin, Teotenango, and Xochicalco. Inscribed
monuments are a fraction of the known corpus
of sculptures in the Cotzumalhuapa style; in fact,
some of the largest carvings at Cotzumalhuapa
feature no glyphic notations. Two-thirds of the figure 4.5
monuments belong to the city of Cotzumalhuapa Goln Monuments 2 and 3. (Drawings by the author.)

The Flowering Glyphs 49

unidentified. They were found in a peripheral loca-
tion in the southeastern part of the city. While
no standing architecture is visible, the causeway
that connected Goln with El Castillo highlights
the importance of this sector in the citys urban
landscape (see Figure 4.2; Chinchilla Mazariegos
et al. 2008).
Eight monuments with inscriptions come
from the second- and third-level sites of Palo
Verde, Aguna, Finca San Cristbal, and Ajaxa,
which are located within a ten kilometer range
of Cotzumalhuapa (Chinchilla Mazariegos et al.
2006). Further examples are scattered at other
sites within fifty kilometers of Cotzumalhuapa
(see Figure 4.4). A small but important concentra-
tion of four inscriptions comes from Palo Gordo
(Chinchilla Mazariegos 2002; Termer 1973). There
are two inscribed stelae at Los Cerritos Norte and
a carved boulder at Cdiz, near the modern city
of Escuintla. Further examples come from the site
of Santa Rosa and an unreported location in the
Antigua Guatemala Valley (Chinchilla Mazariegos
1996; Girard 1972; Parsons 1969; Robinson n.d.).
The sculptural style was spread over a much wider
area, but no inscriptions are known from sites on
the southeastern coast and highlands of Guatemala,
such as La Nueva, which has an important concen-
tration of Cotzumalhuapa-style sculptures. figure 4.6
Portable sculpture showing seated character with
General Features Star glyph (14). (Photograph by the author.)

Glyphs were carved on a variety of media, includ-

ing rocks, stelae, altars, wall panels, steps, pillars,
and pavement stones. Isolated glyphs are some-
times found on ceramic figurines, hachas, and But there are many examples of exempt signs that
small stone carvings (Figure 4.6). Few lapidary sometimes grow to disproportionate size. There
objects have been documented at Cotzumalhuapa, seems to be no rule regarding sign orientation
but there is a glyphic notation on a jade plaque the same sign may appear oriented to the viewers
in the Cotzumalhuapa style recovered from the left or right. Moreover, head signs appear either
Chichen Itza cenote (Proskouriakoff 1974:191 in frontal or profile view, sometimes on the same
192). Curiously enough, the Star glyph (appendix, carving. In such cases, there is no clue to deter-
no. 14) is the only sign of the script to appear on mine whether they are part of a single notation
portable objects. This sign is also frequent on major and whether the two signs are variants of each
Cotzumalhuapa monuments (Cossich Vielman other. In general, such variation appears to result
and Chinchilla Mazariegos 2006). from the artists fancy, and choices may depend
Signs are usually inscribed in round car- on artistic composition rather than on any
touches that may or may not have a raised border. fixed rule.

50 c h i nch i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
Numerals to nonnumerical signs. The longest documented
A single example of a bar-and-dot numeral appears series reaches twelve units on El Bal Monument 56
on El Castillo Monument 1 (Figure 4.7). While (Figure 4.8), suggesting that numerical series may
unique, it may relate to the Teotihuacan prac- correspond to trecena coefficients.
tice of writing bar-and-dot numerals underneath A peculiar feature of Cotzumalhuapa nota-
day signs in an inverted fashionwith the dots tions is the repetition of identical signs forming
below the bars (Caso 1966; Taube 2000). This con- series that may reach up to nine identical signs.
trasts with coastal Preclassic monuments, where Presumably, repeating series stand for combina-
numerals appear above day signs. Elsewhere at tions of day signs and numerals, such as 9 Monkey
Cotzumalhuapa, numerals appear as series of on the right side of El Castillo Monument 1 (see
plain circles or rings that function as coefficients Figure 4.7). As Thompson (1948:32) pointed out,

figure 4.7
El Castillo
Monument 1, Side A.
(Drawing by the

The Flowering Glyphs 51

Identification of Signs
Thompson (1948) first offered an inventory of
Cotzumalhuapa signs, which has grown consider-
ably with new discoveries. My current list contains
thirty-two different signs, including numerals. In
the following discussion, the signs will be identified
by numerals corresponding to the list in the appen-
dix. The inventory is far from complete, since newly
found monuments often add previously undocu-
mented glyphic signs. Many signs are known from
isolated examples, and preservation problems make
it difficult to assess variants. For this sign list, I
decided to distinguish possible variants with sep-
arate numbers instead of lumping them together.
For example, signs 17 and 18 are probable vari-
ants of a Death sign. The first clearly portrays the
Cotzumalhuapa Death God, while the second is
figure 4.8 simply a skull with no distinguishing features.
El Bal Monument 56. The graphic shape of some signs still eludes
(Drawing by the author.) identification, although much can be gained by
comparing them with iconographic depictions
in the art of Cotzumalhuapa and elsewhere. For
instance, a sign that represents a cross-armed
this appears to contradict a basic principle of character (9) corresponds well with a widespread
Mesoamerican calendars: the independence of the sculptural genre at Cotzumalhuapa. Characterized
trecenas and the veintenas. Yet the same format by their simplicity and general lack of adornment,
was employed in sixteenth-century documents these sculptures show seated human characters or
from central Mexico and Oaxaca. In the Matrcula human torsos with the arms crossed over the chest
de Huexotzinco, Alfonso Lacadena (personal com- (Parsons 1969:figs. 46ab, 47a). Comparison with
munication 2008) notes calendrical names, such multiple representations in Mesoamerican art sug-
as Omacatl (2 Reed) and Nauacatl (4 Reed), that gests that they may represent mummy bundles.
were written with repeated signs instead of com- While plausible, this interpretation provides no
bining a single Reed sign with the corresponding key for their identification as day names.
numerals. Likewise, on the map of the Relacin de Although the following paragraphs outline
Macuilxochtil, the towns name (5 Flower) is writ- broad issues related to the calendrical identification
ten with five flower symbols. Lacadena suggests of Cotzumalhuapa glyphs, a detailed discussion of
that this was a widespread, albeit uncommon, any single issue falls beyond the scope of this chap-
practice in Mesoamerican scripts. ter. A number of Cotzumalhuapa signs correspond

52 c h i nch i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
figure 4.9
The Skull Bird sign (11): a) detail from Bilbao
Monument 10 (reprinted from Habel 1878); and
b) sherd of Tiquisate ware in the collection of the
Museo Popol Vuh, note the birds beak in front
of the skulls mouth (photograph by the author).

closely with day names in Mesoamerican calen-

dars. These include Monkey (6), Deer (16), Death
(17 or 18), Vulture (20), Rabbit (25), Rain (13, rep-
resented by Tlalocs head), and possibly Serpent
(26), Reed (30), Movement (4), and Crocodile (22).
Problematic signs include Iguana (10), which is
clearly identified as such by the crests above and
below the animals head. A correspondence with
Lizard, the fourth day of highland Mexican calen-
dars, seems possible, but there is no known day list
that specifically identifies this day name as Iguana.
Other signs, such as Crab (19), are undocumented
elsewhere in Mesoamerican calendars.
The identification of day signs is further com-
plicated by the absence of a documented calen-
dar from the Pacific coastal region. There is no
record of a calendar from the Nahua-speaking
Pipil who inhabited Escuintla in colonial times. In
the sixteenth century, they shared the Cotzumal
huapa region with the Kaqchikel, whose presence
resulted from the Late Postclassic expansion of the
highland kingdom centered at Tecpan Guatemala
and Tecpan Atitlan (Chinchilla Mazariegos 1998).
While there is no assurance that the Kaqchikel
were present on the coast during the Classic period,
their calendar offers the closest available point
of comparison for the Cotzumalhuapa glyphs.
The colonial Kaqchikel calendar is known from
chronological records included in the Memorial de The problems of calendrical correlation are
Solol and from a calendar compiled in 1685, which also exemplified by the peculiar sign 11, known
included both Kaqchikel and Nahua day names only from Simeon Habels 1863 drawing of the now-
(Crespo 1957; Recinos 1950). Some day names appear lost Bilbao Monument 10 (Figure 4.9a). Thompson
to parallel signs in the Cotzumalhuapa script; for saw it as a probable eagle, failing to recognize that
instance, the seventeenth day, Noh, glossed as The it shows a human skull with a birds beak protrud-
Temple, may correspond with a Cotzumalhuapa ing from the nasal cavity. The full-bodied bird was
glyph that depicts a stepped platform (12). Yet such molded on a Tiquisate bowl, a type of pottery that
correspondences remain highly tentative. was widely used at Cotzumalhuapa (Figure 4.9b).

The Flowering Glyphs 53

figure 4.10
Skull Bird with human body,
carrying a severed human head,
detail of Bilbao Monument 1.
(Drawing by the author.)

The same mythological character appears with a 4.11). This combination may be distinct from the
human body on Bilbao Monument 1 (Figure 4.10; Stepped Platform glyph that appears by itself on
Gmez 2005). The bird with a human skull recalls the closely related Monument 14 (Figure 4.12). Yet
some representations of owls in the Postclassic the crossed bars do not appear elsewhere in the cor-
codices of highland Mexico (Seler 1996:253), and pus, casting doubt on whether this is an indepen-
therefore, it may correspond with the sixteenth day dent sign or just a graphic variant of the Stepped
of the Kaqchikel calendar, listed as Tecolotl in the Platform glyph.
Nahua list and Ahmac in the Kaqchikel list. The Combinations of different signs are extremely
Spanish gloss is El Buho (Crespo 1957). This inter- rare. In fact, most sculptures carry only one nota-
pretation, however, opens the question of whether tion, formed by a repeated sign or a combination
this glyph is a variant of the Vulture sign (20), also of a sign and a numeral. A single monument may
present in the script. show two or more notations, but they tend to be
spatially separated from each other, and they sel-
Sign Combinations dom include sequences of different signs. Of par-
Signs do not cluster together in Cotzumalhuapa ticular note is El Bal Monument 6, a rock carving
writing. The absence of sign clusters marks a with a lone example of a linear text formed by five
major break with earlier coastal scribal traditions. different signs and no associated imagery (Figure
For the first time, there are no complex combina- 4.13). Robert Burkitt (1933) and Eric Thompson
tions of signs such as those of the Preclassic and (1948:32) offered interpretations that remain largely
Teotihuacan scripts. There is a unique exception on untestable, especially because the series includes
Bilbao Monument 13, where the Stepped Platform very odd signs, three of which are absent from the
sign (12) is combined with crossed bars (Figure rest of the corpus.

5 4 c h i nch i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
figure 4.11
Bilbao Monument 13.
(Drawing by the author.)

figure 4.12
Bilbao Monument 14.
(Drawing by the author.)

figure 4.13
El Bal Monument 6.
(Drawing by the author.)

Even more difficult to assess are the multiple

notations on the large stela known as El Castillo
Monument 1 (see Figure 4.7). I am tempted to
arrange them in a continuous series, although the
ordering principle remains unclear: 2 Crab, 3 Bun
dle, 4 and 5 (missing), 6 Star, 7 Bundle, 8 (missing),
9 Monkey. Perhaps the most revealing feature is the
budding vine that crowns the 9 Monkey series
the same kind of scroll used to depict the climbing
characters flowery utterance. As I will argue, the
series appears to be an extension of the characters
chant, growing to encircle the entire scene.

The Flowering Glyphs 55

Oversized Signs on large pavement stones or steps (Figure 4.14;
In some cases, the associated numerals provide the Chinchilla Mazariegos et al. 2008). Archaeologically
only clue to identify glyphs that grow to occupy the documented examples that were part of cause-
entire surface of large monuments. A case in point ways include La Gloria Monument 1, El Castillo
is the full-bodied deer that occupies one whole Monument 16, and El Bal Monuments 67 and 68.
side of Ajaxa Monument 1, a boulder measuring In addition, three unprovenanced monuments
1.85 1.20 m (Chinchilla Mazariegos 1996:416420). share the same designan oversized visage of the
The numeral 9, partly carved on the deers back, Cotzumalhuapa Death Godand probably served
betrays its nature as an oversized notation that may the same function. Four of these carvings have an
be paraphrased as 9 Deer. associated numeral 4 carved below the Death God
Archaeological evidence shows that important face or, in the case of El Bal Monuments 67 and 68,
stations along the Cotzumalhuapa causeways were on a separate block that was found together with the
marked with oversized 4 Death notations carved Death God carving. The numerals suggest that all

a b c

d e

figure 4.14
Pavement slabs and steps with Death God face and 4 Death collocations: a) El Bal
Monument 18, a carved step with the number four on riser; b) Bilbao Monument 29;
c) El Bal Monument 34; d) El Bal Monuments 67 and 68, found together on the
Seler-Sachs Causeway; and e) La Gloria Monument 1, found on the Habel Causeway.
(Drawings by the author.)

56 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
of these carvings should be understood as oversized The Star glyph (14) is the most frequent sign
glyphic notations. The reasons for their placement in the Cotzumalhuapa script, appearing not only
as pavement stones on the causeways remain elusive. in glyphic notations, but also in headdresses and
other iconographic contexts, as well as on ceramic
Name Tags and stone artifacts (see Figure 4.6). Eduard Seler
Glyphic notations are often associated with human (1904:312) first identified this sign as a stellar eye
characters, perhaps indicating their calendrical based on a comparison with the stars represented on
names. For example, the notations 4 Deer and the murals of Mitla and on the codices of highland
8 Monkey on Bilbao Monument 18 (Figure 4.15) Mexico. His interpretation is supported by exam-
likely convey the names of the main protagonists. ples that feature an eyelid on Goln Monuments 4
By contrast, a parallel scene on the obverse of and 5 (Cossich Vielman and Chinchilla Mazariegos
El Castillo Monument 1 includes no glyphic identi- 2006). Most intriguing are the 6 Star collocations
fication of the characters. that appear on no less than nine examples in the

figure 4.15
Bilbao Monument 18.
(Drawing by the author.)

The Flowering Glyphs 57

Cotzumalhuapa corpus. Their frequent associa- associated with the sun and the souls of ancestors
tion with the gargantuan maw of a reptilian mon- (Chinchilla Mazariegos 2008; cf. Hill 1992; Lpez
ster suggests that this collocation may convey the Austin 1994; Taube 2004). The monsters gigan-
name of this mythical beast. tic maw is the entrance to this marvelous place,
The parallel scenes on El Castillo Monument 1 and the 6 Star collocations behind the climb-
(see Figure 4.7) and Vista Linda Monument 1 show ing characters probably name the maw itself. The
the monsters distinctive dentition, with alternat- strongest evidence appears on two pairs of pillars
ing fangs and molars serving as a ladder for the (Monuments 33 and 84ac) that framed doorways
climbing characters. Elsewhere, I propose that at the Bilbao acropolis, forming architectural ver-
their goal is to reach a paradisiacal place of abun- sions of this gaping maw (Figure 4.16). Each pil-
dance, full of prodigious vegetation associated with lar shows the characteristic dentition, combined
flowers, fruits, and valuable objects such as jewels, with series of Star glyphs that are joined together
headdresses, and cacao pods. This is the Cotzu by the monsters bifid tongue. The doorway formed
malhuapa version of the Mesoamerican Flower by Monuments 33 and 84c has a 6 Star colloca-
Worlds, the mythical places of abundance and tion on each pillar, while the other pair, formed
brilliance in Mesoamerican religions that are often by Monuments 84a and b, shows three Star signs

figure 4.16
Bilbao Monuments 84a and 84b, pillars from a doorway that stood at the Bilbao
Monument Plaza, front and side views. Note the grooves on top of both pillars,
which were designed to hold a lintel. (Drawings by the author.)

5 8 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
on each pillar, together forming the 6 Star colloca- reading. Animated signs are well known elsewhere
tion. Thus, the 6 Star collocation appears to mark in Mesoamerica. In Maya writing, many signs are
the monster and, more specifically, its gaping maw. shaped as the heads of gods or animals that some-
The 6 Star collocation also appears in the basal times acquire full bodies without changing their
panel of El Bal Monument 27. Here, the six glyphs reading. In such cases, the arrangement of full-
acquire the shape of seated characters with crossed figure glyphs within the constraints of glyphic
arms who carry the Star glyph as a headdress. This cartouches was a testing ground for scribal fancy
configuration may represent a conflation with the and creativeness. Instead of simply clustering with
crossed arms sign (9) or perhaps an animated each other, as hieroglyphs normally do, full-figure
form of the Star sign. Its position at the base of glyphs often interact by holding each other, car-
the composition suggests that it may function as rying each other, and sometimes fighting each
a place-name (cf. Stuart and Houston 1994). Yet other. Symbolic forms may also become animated,
another indication comes from the collocations acquiring human or animal faces and bodies. In
appearance on the upper register of Palo Verde Maya writing, however, animated signs normally
Monument 1, which hints of a celestial location. To stay within the bounds of glyphic cartouches; they
summarize, the 6 Star collocations frequent asso- are easily distinguished from nonglyphic imagery.
ciation with the maw of the reptilian monster sug- By contrast, animated signs in Cotzumalhuapa
gests that it might convey the name of this being or sculptures escape the bounds of glyphic cartouches
perhaps the name of the paradisiacal place that is and sometimes become the actors of complex nar-
entered through the monsters gigantic maw. rative scenes.
Animated signs in the roughly contempo-
rary script of Xochicalco are especially close to the
Cotzumalhuapa examples. A glyphic collocation
Flowering Glyphs, Singing Glyphs
from the feathered serpent pyramid shows a day
As employed in this chapter, the term anima- sign that has acquired arms and hands, with which
tion refers to the scribal practice of investing the it pulls the rope that ties a neighboring sign (Figure
signs of a writing system with the attributes of liv- 4.17). Seler (1991:77) interpreted the gestures as indi-
ing creatures without necessarily changing their cating the measurement of time periods. This form

figure 4.17
Animated glyph from the Temple of
the Feathered Serpent at Xochicalco.
(Drawing by the author, after Seler 1991).

The Flowering Glyphs 59

of animation seems especially close to the 3 Death associated with the lush vegetation that symbolizes
notation on Palo Gordo Monument 10 (Figure 4.18). flowery speech or songcategories that were largely
The central glyph is provided with a pair of oversized undistinguishable in ancient Mesoamerica (cf. King
hands that extend to hold his companions on either 1994; Monaghan 1994).
side. While their shape is humanlike, these hands An unprovenanced relief, reportedly from the
most probably belong to the Death God, whose skel- Antigua Guatemala Valley (Figure 4.19), has two
etal body normally includes fleshed hands and feet. animated glyphic notations: 4 Deer and perhaps
The inscription thus became a compressed portrait 8 Coyote. Their size and dynamism make them
of the Death God holding two portraits of himself. more than just notations. Both animals are impor-
At Cotzumalhuapa, hieroglyphic signs often ac- tant elements in the composition, as they appear to
quire the qualities of living creatures, such as plants, interact with the seated character who gestures in
animals, or humans. Moreover, glyphs are strongly front of a burning plate. Their awkward position

figure 4.18
Palo Gordo Monument 10.
(Drawing by the author.)

figure 4.19
Relief carving of unknown
provenance, reportedly from
the Antigua Guatemala Valley.
(Drawing by the author.)

6 0 c h i nch i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
suggests that they may be sacrificial victims, per- Cotzumalhuapa, where the glyphs themselves may
haps likened to the human-faced fruit that burns perform speech.
in the plate. In Cotzumalhuapa art, such fruits In lowland Maya art, Stephen Houston and
stand for sacrificial victims. Moreover, both ani- Karl Taube (2000) distinguish different types of
mals are linked with flowers, recalling the plant utterances, marked with variously shaped speech
symbolism that is often found in association with scrolls. At least two types of utterances can be iden-
Cotzumalhuapa glyphic notations. The animated tified in Cotzumalhuapa art. The most common is
glyphs are at once participants in a sacrificial fire flowery speech (see Figures 4.204.21), which is
ritual and notations that conceivably convey per- marked by abundant flowers and precious objects
sonal names or dates related to the event. that sprout from speech scrolls like fruits or flow-
Another form of animation involves the repre- ers. The second is fiery speech, which is marked
sentation of glyphs as fruits, flowers, or seeds. In this by undulating flamelike elements, such as the one
guise, glyphs are closely associated with the ubiq- that grows from the mouth of a deer on Bilbao
uitous vines that often function as speech scrolls. Monument 14 (see Figure 4.12). On its compan-
Examples include a series of glyphs hanging like ion, Bilbao Monument 13, the flame denoting fiery
fruits from a flowering plant on Bilbao Monument 11. speech hangs at the end of a series of ring-shaped
On El Bal Monument 30 (Figure 4.20), glyphic numerals that form the Death Gods utterance (see
annotations are placed along the vines that repre- Figure 4.11). Another example appears on El Bal
sent the characters utterances, like fruits or flowers Monument 4 (Figure 4.22), where fiery speech is
growing from them. As noted, the glyphic collo- clearly associated with human sacrifice.
cations on El Castillo Monument 1 (see Figure 4.7) The flames denoting fiery speech may be ori-
appear to substitute almost entirely for the flower- ented downward. Their identification with fire,
ing vines/speech scrolls that are commonly used to however, is suggested by comparison with the
represent speech or chant. The association of glyphs flames on the burning plate featured in the Antigua
with speech scrolls is familiar in other Mesoameri relief (see Figure 4.19). The contrasting, and perhaps
can scripts, notably at Teotihuacan, where glyphic complementary, nature of both types of speech
collocations may allude to the content of the speak- becomes evident in the Goln pillars (see Figure
ers utterances. But this was taken a step further at 4.5). Both pillars have parallel glyphic annotations,

figure 4.20
El Bal Monument 30. (Drawing by the author.)

The Flowering Glyphs 61

figure 4.21
Bilbao Monument 20. Note the
flowery speech scrolls coming out
of the mouths of both characters.
(Drawing by the author.)

figure 4.22
Detail of El Bal Monument 4,
showing a skeletal character with
a fiery speech scroll. Note the
bleeding heart in his hand.
(Drawing by the author.)

consisting of two signs (26) that possibly represent are reminiscent of the atl tlachinolli, water, burned
serpent heads. But there are different elements com- field, couplet used by the Aztec as a metaphor for
ing out of the glyphs mouths on each pillar. The warfare. Moreover, both the flames and the flowery
flames that fill Goln Monument 3 contrast with scrolls come out of the mouths of the glyphic signs,
the flowery scrolls that appear in the midst of dense suggesting that these are their utterances.
spiraling bands on Goln Monument 2, perhaps Further examples of speaking or singing glyphs
standing for water. These notations may comple- appear in other sculptures. Palo Gordo Monument
ment each other in the manner of antithetical cou- 25 (Figure 4.23) has some of the most remarkable
plets, a literary device that has been documented in examples of animation in the Cotzumalhuapa
Mesoamerican indigenous texts (e.g., Christenson script. One unique feature is the animation of
2003:50). The contrasting water and fire utterances numerical coefficients. Instead of the usual series

62 c h i nch i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
back. Elsewhere, I have interpreted the composition
as representing a marital alliance because it employs
a pan-Mesoamerican convention for marriagea
man and a woman standing or sitting in front of
each other. If so, the glyphs action may be inter-
preted as the presentation of dowry (Chinchilla
Mazariegos 2002).
The glyphs performance on this stela also
includes verbal art, denoted by the scrolls that come
out of their mouths. Moreover, the fruit-laden plant
that grows from the serpent numeral 1 may also be
regarded as the numerals utterance. Considering
the usual interplay between plants and speech
scrolls in Cotzumalhuapa art, this tree may be
considered as like-in-kind with the scrolls that
come out of the animated glyphs mouths on the
same monument. By comparison, Monument 24
from the same site (Figure 4.24) shows an elabo-
rate vine growing from a ring-shaped numeral
placed in front of the mouth of a seated character.
Oddly enough, this numeral does not function as
a coefficient for another glyph. In both cases, the
numerals take the role of seeds that germinate lush
vegetation, which is largely associated with flowery
speech or song in Cotzumalhuapa art.
The contrast between the stiffness of the stand-
ing characters and the animation of their probable
name tags is noticeable on Monument 25 (see Figure
4.23). Indeed, the glyphs are the most active partici-
figure 4.23
pants in this remarkable scene. The next step was
Palo Gordo Monument 25. (Drawing by the author.)
taken on Monument 1 from Finca San Cristbal, a
minor site in the vicinity of Cotzumalhuapa (Figure
4.25). As on the Goln pillars (see Figure 4.5), the
sculptor at Finca San Cristbal did away with the
characters, leaving only the glyphs. In a very per-
of rings, the numerals on this carving are entwined functory way, the annotations may be paraphrased
serpents, whose coils form the notations ten and as 7 Rabbit and 3 Death, with the Death Gods
one. The first serves as a coefficient for a snarl- coefficient threaded by a flowering vine. There are
ing beast, a full-figure glyph that probably names no associated characters, and the glyphs are the
the character to the observers left. The number one sole actors in the monument. They engage in ver-
serves as coefficient and seat for a full-figure glyph bal performance, and their utterances are depicted
shaped as a small mammal that takes an active role as tightly entwined vines that split apart at the top
in the scene. This animated glyph presents objects and bloom with beautiful flowers and sprouts. As
perhaps gifts or tributeto the larger character. At in the other sculptures we have discussed, these
the same time, it probably names the short stand- calendrical annotations seem to substitute for the
ing woman with a huge serpent emerging from her portraits of two individuals thus named.

The Flowering Glyphs 63

figure 4.24
Palo Gordo Monument 24.
(Drawing by the author.)

Several monuments at Cotzumalhuapa show

face-to-face characters engaged in flowery speech
or chant (see Figures 4.204.21). The nature of
their chanting becomes explicit on the grandest
example, the magnificent rock carving known as
Bilbao Monument 21 (Figure 4.26), on which the
main characters face each other as they utter flow-
ering speech scrolls. Most noticeable is the central
characters song, which flows out from his mouth
and from the mouth of a skull on his chest. Both
scrolls grow to enormous size, encircling the entire
scene, and both are ripe, not just with flowers, but
also with human-faced fruits and objects, such as
knives, ear spools, and other jewels. Elsewhere, figure 4.25
I propose that this characters chant evokes the Finca San Cristbal Monument 1.
Cotzumalhuapa version of the Mesoamerican (Drawing by the author.)

64 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
figure 4.26
Bilbao Monument 21.
(Drawing by the author.)

Flower World (Chinchilla Mazariegos 2008; cf. that it is a reduced version of a similar scene, with
Hill 1992; Taube 2004). As he sings, the central the two chanters represented by their calendrical
character dances to the music played by a third names? Indeed, to the eye of the knowledgeable
participant, an uncanny-looking character who reader, the animation of the 7 Rabbit and 3 Death
beats a kettledrum with a human femur while collocations was probably meant to evoke a com-
manipulating a puppet with his right hand. While plex series of ritual events, mythical passages, and
dancing, the main character wields a large knife supernatural places. We may also return to our
to harvest the human-faced fruits that grow from initial example, El Bal Monument 59 (see Figure
his own speech scrollsa harvest that stands for 4.3). Is this another variation on the same theme,
human sacrifice by decapitation. Briefly stated, this the essential act of singing, enacted by a character
is a sacrificial dance that may evoke the ultimate who was named by the central collocation? Did this
destiny of warriors and sacrificial victims as a flow- rather plain carving refer to and condense a com-
ery paradise, which is materialized by the main plex series of ritual events, mythical passages, and
characters chant. supernatural places?
Did the Finca San Cristbal sculpture (see Fig The answers to these questions will necessarily
ure 4.25) evoke similar images? Can we conclude remain in the realm of speculation. Nevertheless,

The Flowering Glyphs 65

these comparisons highlight the fact that the Cot the Postclassic Mixtec codices that employ calendri-
zumalhuapa scribes and artists experimented with cal annotations to identify dates and individuals and
various ways of encoding complex information, use pictorial resources to convey much of the associ-
sometimes relying entirely on iconographic con- ated information, with only limited use of linguistic
ventions and other times giving primary place to resources (Jansen 2001).
glyphic annotations. Glyphs were occasionally According to Houston (2004:277278; Houston
endowed with such a degree of animation that et al. 2003:457), the spread of Teotihuacan influence
they become active participants in iconographic during the Early Classic period introduced a tra-
compositions. The information that the animated dition of open writing systems across much of
glyphs convey is encoded as much in their actions Mesoamerica. Such systems are less committed to
as in their intrinsic meanings, and the reader must linguistic transparency and, therefore, are more
have had a considerable amount of background likely to depend on logographic signs and picto-
information to decode such messages. rial conventions. Indeed, our limited knowledge
indicates that the Teotihuacan script used glyphic
notations mainly as captions for iconographic
depictions that conveyed information in nonver-
Cotzumalhuapa Writing in Ancient
bal ways. The Teotihuacan script contrasted mark-
edly with closed traditions, such as Isthmian
The preceding description of the Cotzumalhuapa and lowland Maya writing, in which the trans-
script highlights some of its most salient features: mission of information relied almost exclusively
on verbal resources. Yet Teotihuacan writing still
(1) A small number of signs that largely function shows complex patterns of sign clustering, perhaps
in combination with numerals, suggesting a similar to the logosyllabic script used by the Aztec
calendrical system that may include dates, per- (Lacadena 2008).
sonal names, and perhaps place-names. The trend toward open systems continued in
(2) A nearly complete absence of sign clustering the Late Classic period. The Cotzumalhuapa system
or glyphic combinationsfeatures that are was significantly more open than Teotihuacan nota-
associated with logosyllabic collocations in the tions on Early Classic ceramics from the coast. It also
Maya and Aztec scripts. seems to be more open than other Late Classic sys-
(3) An extraordinary degree of animation that tems, such as Xochicalco and Cacaxtla, that appear
sometimes turns notations into active partici- to have stronger roots in the Teotihuacan script.
pants in elaborate scenes. The Cotzumalhuapa scribes largely abandoned
the use of verbal codes, relying entirely on picto-
These features set Cotzumalhuapa writing rial conventions to convey complex messages. Their
apart from earlier writing traditions that were limited use of the script to convey calendrical and
used on the Pacific coast, including Preclassic and name information represented a major step beyond
Teotihuacan writing, and give the overall impres- Teotihuacan writing in the movement toward the
sion that Cotzumalhuapa scribes and artists devel- open, nonverbal writing tradition that characterized
oped a system of their own, rather than adapting the history of writing in much of Mesoamerica. This
the Teotihuacan system. From the latter, Cotzu usage was certainly an innovation in Late Classic
malhuapa may have inherited features such as the Mesoamerica and a step toward the open systems
shape of calendrical signs, but not much else. In par- that came to dominate much of the region in the
ticular, the absence of sign clustering suggests that Postclassic period. More than a passive receiver of
the Cotzumalhuapa script relied largely on nonver- outside influence, Cotzumalhuapa may have been a
bal ways of presenting graphic information. In some source of innovation that left a mark on later devel-
respects, the closest correspondences are found in opments in Pacific Guatemala and elsewhere.

6 6 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
needed to complete this long-overdue essay. Joanne
Pillsbury and Emily Gulicks hospitality and orga-
My research at Cotzumalhuapa has been possible nizational skills made the symposium a rewarding
thanks to the support of the Museo Popol Vuh, and congenial experience. I appreciate the stimulat-
Universidad Francisco Marroqun. Elizabeth Boone ing comments of all symposium participants, espe-
and Gary Urtons invitation to participate in the cially Stephen Houston, Alfonso Lacadena, David
Dumbarton Oaks symposium provided the push I Stuart, Karl Taube, and Javier Urcid.

a p p e n d i x : l is t o f co t z um a l h ua pa g ly p h s

Note: The third column provides convenient designations are not offered as decipherments,
designations for signs based on a compari- though some find correspondences in Meso
son with Cotzumalhuapa iconography. These american calendars.

prov isiona l
n u m be r e x a m pl e s de signat ion

1 Ring Numeral

Plain Circle


4 Movement

The Flowering Glyphs 67

Appendix (continued)

prov isiona l
n u m be r e x a m pl e s de signat ion

(El Bal
Monument 6,
second sign)

6 Monkey

Animal Head

8 (El Bal Monument
6, fifth sign)

9 Mummy Bundle

10 Iguana

Bird with
Human Skull

6 8 c h i nch i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
prov isiona l
n u m be r e x a m pl e s de signat ion

12 Stepped Platform

13 Rain (Tlaloc head)

14 Star

Inverted Tassel

16 Deer

17 Death (Death God)

18 Death (plain skull)

The Flowering Glyphs 69

Appendix (continued)

prov isiona l
n u m be r e x a m pl e s de signat ion

19 Crab

20 Vulture

21 Tied Bundle

22 Crocodile

23 Fire

24 Reptilian Monster

25 Rabbit

70 c h i nc h i l l a m a z a ri e g o s
prov isiona l
n u m be r e x a m pl e s de signat ion

26 Serpent (?)

Human Profile

28 Joined Bands

29 Composite Animal

30 Reed (?)

31 Dog or Coyote (?)

32 Small Mammal

The Flowering Glyphs 71

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The Flowering Glyphs 75

con t ribu tor s

Elizabeth Hill Boone Princeton and the National Gallery of Art in

Elizabeth Hill Boone, a professor of art history, Washington, D.C. She was awarded the Order of
holds the Martha and Donald Robertson Chair the Aztec Eagle by Mexico (1990) and was named
in Latin American Art at Tulane University. She the Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center
is a specialist in the painted manuscripts of Pre- for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts by the
Columbian and early colonial Mexico. Formerly National Gallery of Art (20062008). Her current
director of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton project examines changes in the indigenous tradi-
Oaks (19831995), she has edited or coedited tion of pictography and manuscript painting after
eleven books, including The Aztec Templo Mayor the conquest.
(1987), Collecting the Pre-Columbian Past (1993),
Writing without Words: Alternative Literacies in Carrie J. Brezine
Mesoamerica and the Andes (1994, with Walter Carrie J. Brezine is a weaver and spinner with expe-
Mignolo), Native Traditions in the Postconquest rience in both European and Andean textile con-
World (1998, with Tom Cummins), and Painted struction.Her undergraduate work in mathematics
Books and Indigenous Knowledge in Mesoamerica at Reed College continues to inspire her research in
(2005). Among her own books are The Codex fabric structure and ethnographic weaving. From
Magliabechiano (1983), The Aztec World (1994), 20022005, she was the database administrator
Stories in Red and Black: Pictorial Histories of the for the Harvard Khipu Database Project, which
Aztecs and Mixtecs (2000; winner of the Arvey catalogued and deciphered the knotted-cord com-
Prize of the Association for Latin American Art), munication devices of the Inka Empire. In the
and Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican summer of 2005, she described and analyzed the
Books of Fate (2007). She has held research fel- patrimonial khipu of Rapaz, Peru. She is presently
lowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in a PhD candidate in the Archaeology Program

of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard coast and the Maya Lowlands. He is the author
University. Her dissertation research focuses on of Guatemala, corazn del mundo maya (1999),
changes in weaving technology and dress in colo- Kakaw: Chocolate in Guatemalan Culture (2005),
nial Peru. and Imgenes de la mitologa maya (2010). He is
also the coeditor of The Decipherment of Ancient
Reymundo Chapa Maya Writing (2001, with Stephen D. Houston and
Reymundo Chapa earned his MA in anthropol- David Stuart).
ogy in 2009 from the University of Wisconsin-
Madison, where he studied with Frank Salomon Michael D. Coe
and Jason Yaeger. He has worked throughout the Michael D. Coe is Charles J. McCurdy Professor
Americas, focusing on the archaeology of the south- of Anthropology, Emeritus, at Yale University. His
ern Andes, particularly on ceremonial architecture research interests focus on the pre-Hispanic civi-
and its development during the rise of social com- lizations of Mesoamerica (especially the Olmec
plexity in the Lake Titicaca basin. He has been an and Maya) and on the Khmer civilization of
active contributor to the research of several promi- Cambodia. He has also conducted archaeological
nent Pre-Columbian ceremonial centers, including excavations on forts of the French and Indian War
Tiwanaku, Chavin de Huntar, and Chankillo, and in Massachusetts. Among his eighteen published
he has contributed papers, such as Transforming books are Mexico (1962, with four subsequent edi-
One Hundred Years of Archaeological Research tions, two coauthored with Rex Koontz); The Maya
into Models of Evolving Ceremonial Form at (1966, with seven subsequent editions); The Maya
Tiwanaku, Bolivia and Aptapis and Archaeology: Scribe and His World (1973); Lords of the Underworld:
How Aymara Celebrations at Kasa Achuta, Bolivia, Masterpieces of Classic Maya Ceramics (1978); In the
Give Meaning to the Past, at professional confer- Land of the Olmec (1980, with Richard A. Diehl);
ences. He is currently a cultural resources project Breaking the Maya Code (1992); The True History of
manager at a small environmental consulting firm Chocolate (1996, with Sophie D. Coe); The Art of the
in Austin, Texas. Maya Scribe (1997, with Justin Kerr); Reading the
Maya Glyphs (2001, with Mark Van Stone); Angkor
Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos and the Khmer Civilization (2003); Final Report: An
Oswaldo Chinchilla graduated from the Universi Archaeologist Excavates His Past (2006); and The
dad de San Carlos de Guatemala in 1990 and Line of Forts: Historical Archaeology on the Colonial
earned his PhD from Vanderbilt University in 1996. Frontier of Massachusetts (2006). He has been a
He is currently curator at the Museo Popol Vuh, Member of the National Academy of Sciences since
Universidad Francisco Marroqun, and professor 1986. He has been given the Tatiana Proskouriakoff
at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. Award by Harvard University (1989); the James D.
His research focuses on the archaeology of the Burke Prize in Fine Arts by the Saint Louis Art
Pacific coast of Guatemala, Classic Maya writing Museum (2001); the Order of the Quetzal by the
and iconography, and the history of archaeology Government of Guatemala (2004); the Orden del
in Guatemala. He has carried out extensive field Pop by the Museo Popol Vuh (2006); and the Linda
research in the Cotzumalhuapa region of the Pacific Schele Award by the University of Texas (2008). He
piedmont of Guatemala, including recording and is currently coauthoring a book on Maya cities with
analysis of the sculptural corpus, studies of settle- the photographer Barry Brukoff.
ment patterns and urbanism, and documentary
research on the Pre-Columbian peoples of the area. Thomas B. F. Cummins
His recent papers concentrate on the mythological Tom Cummins is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor
interpretation of Classic imagery from the Pacific of the History of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art

392 c on t ri bu tor s
and the chair of the Department of the History of Stephen D. Houston
Art and Architecture at Harvard University. He Stephen D. Houston holds the Dupee Family Pro
received his MA and PhD in art history from the fessorship of Social Science at Brown University,
University of California, Los Angeles, and has pub- where he has taught since 2004. His previous posi-
lished essays and books on early Pre-Columbian tion was as Jesse Knight University Professor at
Ecuadorian ceramics and on colonial art and archi- Brigham Young University. He took his BA at the
tecture in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Mexico. University of Pennsylvania and his MPhil and PhD
He is the author of Toasts with the Inca: Andean at Yale University. He is the author, coauthor, and
Abstraction and Colonial Images on Kero Vessels editor of several books, including The Memory
(2002) and the coeditor of The Getty Mura: Essays of Bones: Body, Being, and Experience among the
on the Making of Martn de Muras Historia gen- Classic Maya (2006, with David Stuart and Karl
eral del Piru, J. Paul Getty Museum Ms. Ludwig Taube), Veiled Brightness: A History of Ancient
XIII 16 (2008, with Barbara Anderson). Maya Color (2009, with various colleagues), The
Classic Maya (2009, with Takeshi Inomata), as well
Vctor Falcn Huayta as The First Writing: Script Invention as History and
Vctor Falcn Huayta holds a Licenciado degree Process (2004), Classic Maya Place Names (1994,
in archaeology from the Universidad Nacional with David Stuart), and Function and Meaning in
Mayor de San Marcos, and is a candidate for a Classic Maya Architecture (1998). The recipient of fel-
masters degree in Andean studies at the Pon lowships from Dumbarton Oaks, the Guggenheim
tificia Universidad Catlica del Per. He was a staff Foundation, the School of American Research, and
archaeologist of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura the National Endowment for the Humanities, he
from 1991 to 2009. As a museum researcher, he has also directed archaeological projects at Piedras
relates collected objects to current field findings. Negras and, more recently, at El Zotz in Guatemala.
His publications include La Huayllaquepa de With Dan Finamore, he curated the exhibition and
Punkur: Costa Nor-Central del Per (Anales, edited the exhibition catalogue for Fiery Pool: The
Museo de Amrica, Madrid, 2005); Reconstruc Maya and the Mythic Sea (2010).
tion of the Burial Offering at Punkur in the
Nepea Valley of Perus North-Central Coast Margaret A. Jackson
(Andean Past, 2009); and Un tambor de cuero Margaret A. Jackson is currently assistant pro-
pintado del Museo Nacional de Arqueologa, fessor of art history at the University of New
Antropologa e Historia del Per (Anales, Museo Mexico. As an art historian, her research focuses
de Amrica, Madrid, 2008). His research on the on the ancient cultures of the Andes, with particu-
Lima cultura is published in Playa Grande: Entre lar emphasis on the imagery and iconography of
la aldea y el santuario; Un caso de interpre- the Moche of Peru. Additional research interests
tacin arqueolgica ambigua? (Arqueolgicas, include the visual cultures of ancient Mesoamerica
Museo Nacional de Arqueologa, Antropologa e and systems of visual communication. She com-
Historia del Per, 2000); El motivo interlocking a pleted her PhD in Pre-Columbian art history at
travs del dolo de Playa Grande (Arqueolgicas, the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the
2003); and Morir en Playa Grande: El rescate de president of the Association for Latin American
un entierro de la cultura Lima (Actas del Primer Art and an active member of the College Art
Congreso Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales y Association. Most recently, she was coeditor of
Humanidades, 2004). He also conducts research on Invasion and Transformation: Interdisciplinary
the rock art of the central Andes, including current Perspectives on Images of the Conquest of Mexico
work on Inka pictography in the Yucay Valley at (2008, with Rebecca Brienen). Her book Moche Art
Inkapintay (Ollantaytambo). and Visual Culture in Ancient Peru (2008) was the

c ontribu tors 393

recipient of the Association for Latin American Art Matthew) and coauthor of La conquista indgena
book award in 2010. de Mesoamrica: El caso de don Gonzalo Mazatzin
Moctezuma (2008, with Matthew Restall).
Federico Navarrete
Federico Navarrete is a historian and anthropolo- Frank Salomon
gist at the Instituto de Investigaciones Histricas Frank Loewen Salomon is the John V. Murra
of the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico. Professor of Anthropology at the University of
His work centers on the nature and workings of the Wisconsin. Born in New York in 1946, he took
historical traditions of Mesoamerican, and more his BA from Columbia University in 1968 and his
generally Amerindian, societies. He is the author MA and PhD from Cornell University in 1974 and
of La migracin de los mexicas (1998) and editor 1978. He joined the Department of Anthropology
of Indios, mestizos y espaoles: Interculturalidad e at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1982.
historiografa en la Nueva Espaa (2007, in collab- A historical ethnographer of the Andean peoples,
oration with Danna Levin). His latest book, Los or- he has discovered and analyzed unsuspected
genes de los pueblos del Valle de Mxico, is in press. sources on the northern reaches of the Inka
He has also published articles in Estudios de cul- Empire, which are treated in Native Lords of Quito
tura nhuatl and Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics. (1986). In 1991, he published, with George Urioste,
Another line of his research concerns the history of the first English version of the Quechua-language
Amerindian societies after European colonization, Huarochir manuscript (1608?), the only known
their cultural transformations, and their relation- book presenting an Andean sacred tradition
ship with colonial empires and the independent in an Andean language. He coedited the South
nation-states of the Americas. In this area, he has American volumes of the Cambridge History of
published the books La conquista de Mxico (2000), the Native Peoples of the Americas (1999, with
Las relaciones intertnicas en Mxico (2004), and La Stuart Schwartz). Since 1994, he has been engaged
invencin de los canbales (2006). He has also writ- in field study of Peruvian communities that pre-
ten the historical novel Huesos de Lagartija (1998). serve as sacred patrimony khipus (knotted-cord
records, a perennially enigmatic lost script). A
Michel R. Oudijk resulting book, The Cord Keepers, was published
Michel Oudijk received his PhD from the Uni in 2004.
versiteit Leiden in the Netherlands. After com-
pleting his degree, he worked for three years as Karl Taube
associate professor at the Kbenhavns Universitet Karl Taube received his PhD from Yale University
in Denmark. Since 2004, he has been a researcher in 1988 and is currently a professor of anthropol-
at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filolgicas at ogy at the University of California, Riverside.
the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico He has conducted fieldwork in Honduras, Gua
in Mexico City, where he is currently working on temala, Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. He is cur-
the translation and analysis of Zapotec colonial rently the project iconographer for the San Bartolo
texts. He has published extensively on Zapotec his- Project in the Peten of Guatemala. His primary
tory and Mesoamerican pictographic documents, research concerns the archaeology and ethnol-
including Historiography of the Bniza (2000) and ogy of Mesoamerica and the American Southwest,
Los lienzos pictogrficos de Santa Cruz Papalutla, including the development of agricultural symbol-
Oaxaca (2010, with Sebastin van Doesburg). His ism and the relationship between Teotihuacan and
recent research concerns the interaction between the Classic Maya. Among his publications are The
indigenous and Spanish colonial societies. He is the Major Gods of Ancient Yucatan (1992), Gods and
coeditor of Indian Conquistadors: Indigenous Allies Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya (1993,
in the Conquest of Mesoamerica (2007, with Laura with Mary Ellen Miller), Aztec and Maya Myths

394 c on t ri bu tor s
(1993), The View from Yalahau: 1993 Archaeological ethnohistory, and ethnology. His research on Inka
Investigations in Northern Quintana Roo, Mexico khipus has resulted in the description of two hun-
(1995, with Scott Fedick), The Writing System of dred and fifty samples from museums in Europe,
Ancient Teotihuacan (2000), Olmec Art at Dumbar the United States, and South America. He is the
ton Oaks (2004), The Murals of San Bartolo, El author of numerous articles, books, and edited
Peten, Guatemala, Part 1: The North Wall (2005, volumes on Andean/Quechua cultures and Inka
with William Saturno and David Stuart), and civilization. His books include At the Crossroads of
The Murals of San Bartolo, Part 2: The West Wall the Earth and the Sky (1981), The History of a Myth:
(2010, with William Saturno, David Stuart, and Pacariqtambo and the Origin of the Incas (1990),
Heather Hurst). The Social Life of Numbers: A Quechua Ontology of
Numbers and Philosophy of Arithmetic (1997), Inca
Javier Urcid Myths (1999), Signs of the Inka Khipu: Binary Coding
Javier Urcid is an anthropological archaeologist in the Andean Knotted-String Records (2003), and
interested in the role of ancient literacy in the Los khipus de la Laguna de los Cndores (2007).
formation and maintenance of social complex- He is director of the Khipu Database Project at
ity, in the origins and alternative developments Harvard University.
of writing systems, and in the semantic and pho-
netic decipherment of extinct scripts. His other R. Tom Zuidema
interests center on archaeological approaches to R. Tom Zuidemas initial academic studies were at
ancient political economies and on bioarchaeol- the Universiteit Leiden on the languages, laws, and
ogy, particularly the social dimensions of mortu- anthropology of the former Netherlands Indies.
ary practices and cultural/ritual modifications Since he could not go to Indonesia, he turned his
of human remains. His main research focuses on interests to the Andes, first studying in Spain and
Mesoamerican scribal traditions. He is the author defending a PhD at the University of Madrid (1953)
of Zapotec Hieroglyphic Writing (2001) and the and then completing fieldwork in Peru and defend-
coauthor of The Lords of Lambityeco: Political ing a second thesis at the University of Leiden (1962)
Evolution in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Xoo on the ceque system of Cuzco. From 1956 to 1964,
Phase (2010, with Michael D. Lind). He has also he was curator of the Americas and Siberia at the
written articles on uie, Central Mexican, and State Museum of Anthropology, Leiden, and from
Mixteca-Puebla scripts. 1964 to 1967, he was professor at the Universidad
Nacional de San Cristbal de Huamanga in
Gary Urton Ayacucho, Peru. From 1967 until 1993, he taught
Gary Urton is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor at the University of Illinois, with interruptions to
of Pre-Columbian Studies in the Department of teach elsewhere. His principal interests in Peruvian
Anthropology at Harvard University. His research anthropology have been kinship, social and ritual
focuses on a variety of topics in pre-Hispanic and organization, iconography, and Andean astron-
early colonial intellectual history in the Andes, omy and calendars, in particular the Inka calendar
drawing on materials and methods in archaeology, as it functioned in Cuzco.

c ontribu tors 395

inde x

Page numbers in italics indicate illustrative material. Antigua Guatemala Valley, Cotzumalhuapa writing
from, 50, 60, 6061
Codex Aute (Codex Selden), 114, 115, 150, 151, 167, 169n8
abbreviation. See elaboration and abbreviation Apoala, 158, 163, 165, 167
abstract or conventional versus iconic systems, 386 Armstrong, W. E., 1718
Acatempo Stela, 93, 94, 104 Arroyo de Piedra, identification of scribes producing
Acosta, Jos de, v, 168n56, 306n3, 309n15, 387 Maya glyphs in, 23
acsus (female dresses) in Chuquibamba textiles, 252253 Ascher, Marcia and Robert, 320, 339
Aguna, Cotzumalhuapa inscriptions at, 50 Atahuallpa, 259
Ahuitzotl, 188, 190, 191, 192 Atetelco, White Patio mural at, 96
ajaw signs, 24, 31 atl tlachinolli, water, burned field, couplet in Aztec
Ajaxa: inventory of Cotzumalhuapa inscriptions at, 50; writing, 62, 186
Monument 1, 56 Atlee, Clement, 9
alabaster carved vessels, 134139, 136 Atonaltzin, 165
alphabetic writing: hybridity of graphic systems after Atzompa, ceramic vessels from, 134, 135
Spanish conquest, 201, 204210, 205210; quilca Codex Aubin, 168n5, 178, 179, 180, 181, 186, 215
and, 278 Axayacatl, 188, 192
Alvarado, Pedro de (Tonatiuh), 211, 212 Axtapalulca Plaque, 81, 82, 100
Alvarez de Arenales, Juan Antonio, 368370, 369, 373 ayllu, 288, 306n5, 354355
anabil, 23 Codex Azcatitlan, 168169n57, 178, 179, 180, 181, 188, 215,
Anahuac, Late Postclassic concept of, 103 216, 217
Anales de Chimalpahin, 158 Aztec writing, 175195; atl tlachinolli, water, burned
Anales de Tlatelolco, 158, 168169n56 field, couplet in, 62, 186; chronotopes (time-space
Angulo, Jorge, 84 representations) and rgime dhistoricit (historical
animal bones, carved, 135, 137, 139 sensibility) in, 176178, 181, 184, 188, 190, 191;
animation of Cotzumalhuapa writings, 4446, 46, 5965, conquests of Mexica rulers, depiction of, 178, 181,
5966 184, 186; Dumbarton Oaks conferences on codices, 2;
Anna, Timothy, 371 genres or classes of documents in, 190191; in Mexica
anthropology in Stalins USSR, 1112 codices, 178, 178184, 179, 180, 182, 183; on Mexica

stone monuments, 184190, 185, 187, 189; Moche calendrical notations: calendar khipus, 345; in
ceramic imagery compared, 238; New Fire ceremony, Chuquibamba textiles (See Chuquibamba textile
186, 192; oral and performative literary traditions, notation systems); Cotzumalhuapa writings, largely
relationship to, 175176, 191192; places of origin in, calendrical system suggested by, 65; Monte Albn
157158; social and cultural meaning, importance objects marked with calendrical names of owners,
of, 190192; Spanish conquests, adaptation to, 191; 134, 135; in uie scribal tradition, 78; Tovar
succession of year signs and tlatoque (rulers) in, 178 calendar, 206
181, 184, 186; Templo Mayor, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, canuto khipus, 322323, 323, 350n3
depictions of, 177, 178, 179181, 184186; Teotihuacan Caracol, absolute size and relative proportion of Maya
writing and, 48, 66, 77, 87 glyphs at, 24
Aztlan, 157158, 162 Cartilla (Pedro de Gante, 1569), 205
cartillas de ensear a leer, 205
Caso, Alfonso, 48, 78, 82, 83, 85, 140, 190
Baird, Ellen, 202 catechisms, pictorial, 205206, 205210
Bakhtin, Mikhail, 176 Catholicism: foundation/migration stories involving,
Balancan Stela, 27 166; glyph representing change from indigenous
Codex Baranda, 170n22 religion to, 162; images, influence on viewing and
Barthel, Thomas S., 16, 307308n8 reading of, 278; indigenous pictography as vehicle for
Bateson, Gregory, 18 ideology of, 198; khipus and, 290, 358; uncu for Christ
Bayer, Herman, 30 Child statue with tocapu, 290, 291
Beazley, John, 23 Cave Seven, Oaxaca, 158
Benedict, Ruth, 12 celts and celtiform stelae, 99, 100
Beria, Lavrenty, 16 census khipus, 344, 345
ceque systems: at Cuzco, 259, 259260, 266, 267, 272, 344;
Berlo, Janet, 77
khipus recording, 345
Bertonio, Ludovico, 287288
Cerro Bernal inscriptions, 144n2
Beyer, Hermann, 81
Cerro de la Caja and environs, carved stones from,
Bilbao: architectural compound at, 43, 45; Monument
117122, 120, 121
1, 54; Monuments 29, 48; Monument 4, 61, 62;
Cerro de la Campagna, Santiago Suchilquitongo, Tomb
Monument 10, 53; Monument 11, 61; Monument 13,
5, 125, 126127, 128
54, 55, 61; Monument 14, 54, 55, 61; Monument 18, 57;
Cerro de las Mesas Stela 15, 80
Monument 20, 61, 62, 64; Monument 21, 6465, 65;
Cerro de los Tepalcates, Chacahua, Oaxaca, 123, 124
Monument 29, 56; Monument 33, 5859; Monument
Cerro del Rey, Ro Grande, Stela 1, 133, 134
42, 47; Monuments 84ac, 58, 5859; possible ancestor
Cerro Nuyoo, Tomb 5, 130, 132
cult at, 4849
Cerro Yucuniza mortuary slab, 130, 132
Codex Bodley, 152153, 153, 157, 167, 168n3, 169n8 Cerron Palomino, Rodolfo, 286, 288
Bolvar, Simn, 367368, 368, 370371 Champollion, Jean-Franois, 18
Boltz, William, 2930 Chapa, Reymundo, 353, 392
Boone, Elizabeth Hill, ix, x, 2, 3, 156, 179, 191, 197, 232, 379, Chiapanec scribal tradition, 112, 113
391392 Chiapas, Teotihuacan writing at, 78
Bonampak murals, 34 Chicanel pottery, Late Preclassic, 7778
Codex Borgia, 103, 198, 382 Chichen Itza: size of glyphs on jades from, 25;
Borgia Group codices, 2, 103, 153 Teotihuacan glyphs and, 82, 84; Yukatekan terms in
Codex Boturini, 199, 215. See also Tira de la script at, 27
Peregrinacin Chichimecateuctli, don Pedro, 213, 214
boustrophedon sequence, 114115, 215 Chicomoztoc, 158, 159, 160, 162
Bove, Frederick, 48 Chimalpahin, 168169n56
Brasseur de Bourbourg, Abb, 15 chinampas at Tenochtitlan, El Plano del Papel de
Brezine, Carrie J., 319, 353, 360, 391 Maguey showing, 88, 89
Browder, Jennifer, 84 Chinchilla Mazariegos, Oswaldo, 43, 387, 392
Burkitt, Robert, 54 Choltian hypothesis for Maya glyphs, 27, 36n6
Cholula: lack of writing tradition at, 77; Relacin
geogrfica of, 152153, 160; Tlachihualtepec or Great
Cacaxtla script: inventory of inscriptions compared to Pyramid of, 160, 161
Cotzumalhuapa, 49; lack of study of, 77; Teotihuacan Choque, Rosa and Rosala, 360
writing and, 48, 66, 82, 96 chronotopes (time-space representations) in Aztec
Cdiz, Cotzumalhuapa inscription at, 50 writing, 176178, 181, 184, 190, 191
Calakmul dynasty and Maya glyph changes, 32 chullpas, tocapu-like designs on, 290, 292

39 8 i n de x
Chuquibamba textile notation systems, 251275; in Cold War and Maya decipherment. See Knorosov, Yuri
archaeological, ethnohistorical, and art historical Valentinovich, decipherment of Maya glyphs by
contexts, 269272, 270, 271; and ceque system, Colhuacatepec, 158, 159, 160
Cuzco, 259, 259260, 266, 267; different calendars Codex Colombino, 152, 168n3
represented in, 256257, 257; eight-pointed star comparative dialogue, importance of, 36, 18
motif and, 269, 271, 271272; feathered ponchos and, Condesuyu: Inka province of, 251, 256, 269, 272, 298;
269272, 271; felines, llamas, and toads, symbolic references to dress in, 269272, 271
use of, 261262; female dresses (acsus) and large Conklin, William, 2, 321322, 325
shawls, 252253; forty-one, forty, and forty-two, conquests of Mexica rulers, Aztec writings depicting,
textiles referring to, 259, 259260, 263, 263264, 178, 181, 184, 186
264; historical and geographic origins, 256, 269; Contreras, Carlos, 368
Kosok shawls standardized sidereal calendar within conventional or abstract versus iconic systems, 386
solar year, 256, 267269, 268; male tunics (uncus), Copan: absolute size and relative proportion of glyphs
loincloths, and ponchos, 252, 252253; Merrin Gallery at, 24; Structure 10L-16, Stairway Block 2, 100101;
shawl, 263, 263264; Museo Banco Central de Reserva Structure 26, 91; vowel notations at, 32
del Per loincloth, 264; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Copan Hieroglyphic Stairway: consonant sensitivity in
shawl with sidereal lunar calendar, 254, 255, 258263, glyphs from, 33; heterography at, 34; production of,
259, 265266, 267, 268; Ohara shawl with modules 2324
of three different calendars, 261, 265, 265267, 269; Corts, Hernn, 166
Peabody Museum uncu with solar calendar, 252, 253, costume and performance in Moche culture, 228, 229
257258, 258, 266, 268, 269; Pleiades constellation Cotzumalhuapa writings, 4375; animation of, 4446, 46,
and, 259, 267; types of intentional orders used in, 5965, 5966; architectural compounds at El Bal, El
251253, 252255 Castillo, and Bilbao, 43, 45; cartouches, 50; in context
of coastal writing tradition, 4649, 47, 66; distribution
classes or genres of documents: in Aztec writing, 190
and inventory of inscriptions, 4950; head signs in
191; ethnoiconological context provided by, 150151
frontal or profile view, 50; human sacrifice in, 65;
closed versus open writing systems, 66, 384
iconographic depictions, comparison of signs with,
coastal writing tradition: defined and described, 112, 113;
52; largely calendrical system suggested by, 65; in Late
mortuary contexts, 130134, 133; Teotihuacan and
Classic period, 4849; Late Preclassic system, 4647;
Citzumalhuapa writings in context of, 4748, 66
media, variety of, 50; Mixtec codices compared, 66;
Coatepec, 161, 162, 165, 166
name tags, use of, 57, 5759, 58; numerals, 51, 5152,
Coatlinchan, unfinished monumental figure from, 100
52; orientation of signs, 50; oversized signs in, 56,
Cobo, Bernab, 308n9
5657; sign combinations, rarity of, 5455, 55, 66; sign
codices: Aubin, 168n5, 178, 179, 180, 181, 186, 215;
inventory, 5254, 6771; 6 Star collocations with maw
Azcatitlan, 168169n57, 178, 179, 180, 181, 188, 215,
of reptilian monster, 5759, 58; Star glyph, use of, 50,
216, 217; Baranda, 170n22; Bodley, 152153, 153, 157, 5759, 58; Teotihuacan writing and, 4849, 95
167, 168n3, 169n8; Borgia, 103, 198, 382; Borgia Group, Couch, Christopher, 202
2, 103, 153; Boturini, 199, 215; Colombino, 152, 168n3; counted offerings in ritual petitions, 153, 155
Dehesa, 170n22; Dresden, 5, 15, 35n2; Egerton, 170n22; Covarrubias Orozco, Sebastin de, 287, 300301
Fejrvry-Mayer, 103, 153, 155, 198, 200; Florentine, Coyolxauhqui circular monument, Templo Mayor of
168169n56, 169n10, 202204, 203, 204; Gmez Mexico-Tenochtitlan, 122123
de Orozco, 158; Kingsborough, 88, 89; Madrid, 15, Crnica mexicyotl (Tezozmoc), 181
35n2, 80, 81; Magliabechiano, 202, 206; in Mayan Cross Panels of Palenque, 190
imagery, 35n2; Mendoza, 85, 178, 179, 181, 182, 184, cross-reading, use of, 15
185, 188, 217, 218, 219, 279, 309n17; Mexica codices, 2, Cruz, Juan de la, 201, 205
177184, 178, 179, 180, 182, 183, 198, 199; Mexicanus, cryptography and decipherment, lack of connection
168169n56, 178, 179, 181, 185, 186, 212, 213215, 215; between, 16
Mexicayotl, 168n5; Osuna, 212; Paris, 35n2, 80, 81; de Cueto, Marcos, 368
Santa Mara Asuncin, 85; Selden (Aute), 114, 115, cuicatl, 175, 191
150, 151, 167, 169n8; Telleriano-Remensis, 178, 179, 180, Cuicuilco, lack of writing tradition at, 77
181, 183, 188, 202, 206, 212; Tudela, 202, 206; Tulane, Cuilapan, Oaxaca cloister stone with Zapotec
170n22; Vaticanus A/Ros, 178, 180, 206; Vaticanus inscriptions, 117, 118
B, 103; Vienna, 385; Vindobonensis, 159, 164165, 165; cultural category, writing systems as, 379390; access to/
Zouche-Nuttall (Tonindeye), 115, 152, 158, 167, 169n8. interpretation of message, 382383; commonalities
See also Mixtec codices of, 380384; glottographic versus semasiographic
Coe, Michael D., 9, 24, 392 systems, 384385; hieroglyphic script versus
Coixtlahuaca valley through-cave inscriptions, 144n6 pictographic systems, 386387; historical significance
Cola de Palma, near El Ciruelo, Stela 3, 130134, 133 of surviving documents, 383384; iconic versus

index 399
conventional or abstract systems, 386; Mesoamerican effigy vessels, 125130, 127, 129, 132, 139
and Andean terms for, 380; pictures versus glyphs, Codex Egerton, 170n22
385386; recording process, 381; scripts, signs, and eight-pointed star motif and Chuquibamba textile
pictographies covered by, 379380; speech and notation systems, 269, 271, 271272
performance compared, 380381; typology of, 384 El Bal: acropolis at, 43, 45; Monument 1, 43, 44, 47, 49;
388; vehicle for message, 381382; writing as term, Monument 6, 54, 55; Monument 18, 56; Monument
problem of, 379380, 387388 27, 59; Monument 30, 61, 64; Monument 34, 56;
cultural code, written surface as, 111148; in Aztec writing, Monument 56, 51, 52; Monument 59, 4346, 46, 65;
190192; performance and place-making, relationship Monuments 67 and 68, 56
of writing to, 114116, 114123, 118121, 123, 124; El Castillo: architectural compound at, 43, 45; causeway
personhood and human body in mortuary contexts, connecting Goln with, 50; Monument 1, 51, 55, 58, 61;
notions of, 125139, 126129, 131133, 135138; scribal Monument 16, 56
error, semiology of, 139143, 141, 142; semiological El Fraile, 289
theory of writing behind, 111112; in six scribal El Mundo Perdido, Tikal: marcador from, 83, 90, 101;
traditions in southwestern Mesoamerica, 112, 112113 stucco-painted vessel from, 95, 96
cultural encyclopedias, 206 El Palmillo, genealogical slab probably from, 125, 128
cultural superiority associated with possession of El Tajin, inventory of inscriptions at, 49
writing system, 306n3 El Zotz, identification of scribes producing Maya glyphs
Cummins, Thomas B. F., 277, 386, 392393 in, 23
Cunil, Jacinto, 18 elaboration and abbreviation, 149174; analogies between
Cuzco: ceque system, 259, 259260, 266, 267, 272, ethnographic present and historical past, 153154,
344; Condesuyu, references to dress in, 269272, 155; ethnoiconological methodology of approach to,
271; guinea pig sacrifices, 262; khipus from, 328; 150154, 151, 153, 154, 155; foundation/toma de posesin/
napa or puca llama, 262; painted tablas at, 300; taking hold of the bundle theme, 150, 166; genre of
Tawantinsuyu, concept of, 298299, 299 document, context provided by, 150151; historical
sources for, 156157; migration theme, 156, 162168,
163, 165; minimal pictographic elements, identifying,
dart-thrower carved with owners name, 134, 135 150; nose-piercing theme, 152153, 153; origin theme
Dvila, Francisco, 309n11 and places of origin, 156, 157162, 159, 160; sacred birth
Davletshin, Albert, 30 theme, 167; thematic focus, determining, 151153, 152,
de Young stela, 22, 2223 154, 155; thematic units commonly found in historical
dedication stone, Templo Mayor, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, sources, 156
188190, 189, 191192 Elkins, James, 233, 380
Codex Dehesa, 170n22 Eloxochitlan de Flores Magn burial, Sierra Mazateca,
diagramming tradition, 221n2 carved human mandible from, 134, 136
Dibble, Charles, 385 emblematic glyphs (toponyms, titles, and personal
difrasismo, 161, 169n14, 170n2021 names), 8488, 85, 86, 87, 385
diglossia in Maya glyphs, 28, 37n10 encyclopedias, cultural, 206
direct historical approach, 151 Engels, Friedrich, 11, 12, 17
disjunction, 151 errors in writing, semiology of, 139143, 141, 142
Doctrina (Pedro de Gante, 1553), 205 Escalante, Pablo, 191, 202
Doctrina christiana (1548), 205 Escuintla: Early Classic pottery and Cotzumalhuapa
Doctrina christiana en la lengua guasteca con la lengua writing, 4748; Teotihuacan glyphs and, 84
castellana (Juan de la Cruz, 1571), 201, 205 Estela Lisa, Monte Albn, 91, 93
Doctrina Xpiana en lengua misteca (Hernndez), 161, Estrada-Belli, Francisco, 88
161162 ethnoiconological approach to elaboration and
Donnan, Christopher, 239 abbreviation, 150154, 151, 153, 154, 155
Dos Pilas, identification of scribes producing Maya Etla district mausoleum facade and effigy vessel, 125, 127
glyphs in, 23 Ex-Arzobispado Stone, 187, 188
Dresden Codex, 5, 15, 35n2
Dubois, Cora, 12
Dumbarton Oaks conferences on Pre-Columbian Falcn Huayta, Victor, 353, 364, 393
writing systems, ixx, 13 feather paintings, 202203, 203
Durn, Diego, 190, 202, 206 feathered ponchos and Chuquibamba textile notation
systems, 269272, 271
Codex Fejrvry-Mayer, 103, 153, 155, 198, 200
eagles devouring hearts in Teotihuacan art, 103, 105n6 felines, llamas, and toads, Chuquibamba textiles
effigy figure, skin as writing surface on, 138, 139 symbolic use of, 261262

40 0 i n de x
Fierro, Pancho, 366, 368 Heggarty, Paul, 345
Finca San Cristbal: inventory of Cotzumalhuapa Hellmuth, Nicholas, 47
inscriptions at, 50; Monument 1, 63, 64, 65 helmets as icons for Warrior theme in Moche ceramic
Florentine Codex, 168169n56, 169n10, 202204, 203, 204 imagery, 234238, 236, 237
Flower World, Cotzumalhuapa version of, 58, 6465 herders use of khipus, 354, 371, 373
Fonds mexicain 399 manuscript, 209, 209210, 210 Hernndez, Benito, 161, 161162
foundation/toma de posesin/taking hold of the bundle Heyerdahl, Thor, 16
theme, 150, 166 hieroglyphic script: Mayan identified as type of, 15,
four steps on the road to God, 161, 161162 386387; pictographic systems versus, 386387
Fraccin Mujular: inscriptions, 144n2; Stela 3, 79, 80 Historia del origen y genealoga real del los reyes ingas del
Frame, Mary, 256, 267, 269, 284 Per (Martn de Mura, 1590), 298, 299, 302
funerary contexts. See mortuary contexts Historia general del Per (Martn de Mura, ca. 1615), 303
Historia tolteca-chichimeca, 152, 158162, 159, 160, 169n6,
175, 176
Galvin manuscript, 301, 302, 303 historical sensibility: Aztec writing, rgime dhistoricit
Gamarra, Agustn, 369 in, 176178, 184, 188, 190, 191; in Moche ceramic
Gante, Pedro de, 205 imagery, 245
Gante I manuscript, 206, 206209, 207, 208 El Hombre de Tikal, 90, 9091
Garca-Des Lauriers, Claudia, 87 Houston, Stephen D., 21, 61, 66, 382, 384, 386, 393
genealogical records, inscriptions of, 125, 126128 Huaca de la Luna, 227, 294, 294297, 295, 296
genres or classes of documents: in Aztec writing, 190 Huajuapan de Len, uie mortuary material from area
191; ethnoiconological context provided by, 150151 of, 130, 132
Gerson, Juan, 202 Huamelulpan, carved stones from, 122
Gisbert, Teresa, 290 huatancha, 355
glottochronology applied to Maya glyphs, 27 huehuetlatolli, 175, 191
glottographic versus semasiographic systems, 201, Huitzilopochtli, 123, 157, 177, 181, 187
232233, 384387 human body and personhood, writing conveying
glyphs versus pictures, 385386 notions of, 125139, 126129, 131133, 135138
Goln: Monuments 2 and 3, 49, 4950, 6162, 63; human bones, carved, 134, 136
Monuments 4 and 5, 57 human sacrifice: in Cotzumalhuapa writings, 65; in
Gmez Chvez, Sergio, 82, 88 Moche culture, 227; San Jos Mogote, Monument 3,
Codex Gmez de Orozco, 158 and 122123, 123; Stone of Tizoc and, 188, 191192;
Gonzlez Holgun, Diego, 287 Templo Mayor, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, foundation/
Gorbachev, Mikhail, 10, 11, 16 renovations of, 180, 181; in Teotihuacan writings,
Graulich, Michel, 188 102, 103
grids, central Mexican examples of writing in, 87, human skin, as writing surface, 138, 139
8890, 89 Humboldt Fragment 1, 85
Grube, Nikolai, 30 Hun Nal Ye cave, stone coffer from, 27
Guaman Poma de Ayala, Felipe: Chuquibamba textile hybridity of graphic systems after Spanish conquest,
notations and, 262, 269272, 270; Nueva cornica y 197225; alphabetic writing, 201, 204210, 205210;
buen gobierno, authorship of, 310n24; tocapus and, changes to graphic systems following conquest,
279280, 280, 281, 283, 286, 288, 297, 298, 299, 202, 219220; comparison of Mesoamerican and
301305, 304 European graphic expression, 197198; diagramming,
Guchte, Maarten van de, 290 221n2; different graphic systems in sixteenth-century
Guerrero: Lienzo de Petlacala, 150; Rufino Tamayo stela, Mexico, 197201; mimetic figuration, 201, 202204,
possibly from, 79, 94; Teotihuacan writing at, 78, 79, 203, 204; pictography, 198200, 199, 200, 210219,
9397, 9398, 94, 104 211219; pictorial catechisms, 205210; semasiography
guinea pig sacrifices, Cuzco, 262 and, 198, 233
Guzmn, Manuel de, 214 hyperdiffusionism, 18

Habel, Simeon, 53 iconic versus conventional or abstract systems, 386

Haddon, Alfred, 17 Icxicouatl, 158
Hamilton, Andrew, 338 ideograms (logograms) and Knorosovs decipherment of
Harris, Roy, 111 Maya script, 1516
Hartog, Franois, 176, 177 Ilhuicatepec, 162
head signs: Cotzumalhuapa writings, frontal or profile Inka: caves of origin at Pacaritambo, 297, 298; lost writing
view in, 50; Teotihuacan writing, frontal view in, 104 system, efforts to unveil, 278, 306n6, 307308n8;

index 401
supposed lost paintings of, 306307n7; writing system, significance of differences using SplitsTree4 and
lack of, 281283, 308n9. See also Chuquibamba textile NeighborNet algorithm, 345348, 346, 347; Middle
notation systems; Cuzco; khipu; tocapu Horizon/Wari khipus, 321, 321322, 322, 325, 350;
Inka-type khipus, 323325, 326 patrimonial khipus of Rapaz not fitting, 363364, 374;
Inti Raymi, feast of, 262 sizes of archives and khipu samples, 328; subsidiaries,
inverted signs, semiology of, 140143, 142 presence/absence and number of, 328329, 329
Isthmian script: as closed system, 66; decipherment King, Mark, 175
proposals, 35n1; glottographic nature of, 384; length King, Timothy, 82, 88
of use of, 21 Codex Kingsborough, 88, 89
Ixcaquixtla, Tomb 1, 130, 132 Kinich Yax Kuk Mo, Teotihuacan cultural ties of,
Kirchhoff, Paul, 157
Jackson, Margaret A., 227, 380, 385, 393 Kirov, Sergei, 10
jaguars devouring hearts in Teotihuacan art, 102, 103 Knorosov, Yuri Valentinovich, decipherment of Maya
Jama-Coaque vessels with tocapus, 296, 297, 305 glyphs by, 920; and anthropology in Stalins USSR,
Jansen, Maarten, 150, 385 1112; background, education, and career, 1214;
Japanese script and Maya glyphs, 16 death of Stalin, dissemination of Knorosovs work
Jara, Victoria de la, 283284, 297, 310n28, 312n42 following, 1617; Great Purge/Great Terror in USSR
(1936), effect on intellectual life, 1011; language
of glyphs importance of, 16, 18; methodology of,
Kaha Wayi (khipu house) and Pasa Qullqa (storehouse), 1416; photograph of, 10; publication of article on
Rapaz, 355360, 356, 357, 358, 359, 373 decipherment by, 14; reasons for success of, 17, 18;
kanji writing, 16, 19n3 recognition of achievements of, 18; and Thompson,
Kaqchikel and Cotzumalhuapa writings, 53, 54 John Eric Sidney, 10, 1418
Kauffman Doig, Federico, 363364 Kosok, Paul, 256, 267
KCCS (Khipu Color Code System), 339 Kroeber, Alfred L., 269
KDB (Khipu Database), 320, 325, 326, 329, 334, 338, Kubler, George, 1, 151, 219, 284
350n5, 361 Kuna-Lacanha, Chiapas, Early Classic stela from, 99, 100
Keber, Eloise Quiones, 179
Kelley, David, 1, 16
key-type Wari khipus, 321, 322 La Cinega, Zimatlan, genealogical slab from, 125, 128
khipu: ancestral mummies, entrusted to, 5; La Gloria, Monument 1, 56
Chuquibamba textile notation systems and, 256; La Herredura, Tlaxcala, temple sign from, 86
in colonial and Catholic contexts, 290, 353355; La Mojarra stela, 144n4
defined, 320321; distinguished from other cord La Nueva, concentration of Cotzumalhuapa-style
constructions, 320; Dumbarton Oaks conferences on, sculptures at, 50
2; herders use of, 354, 371, 373; metacategory of khipu, La Serna, Viceroy, 369, 370
representing, 306n3; Pachacamac archive, 328, 335, La Sufricaya, Early Classic painted grids from, 87, 88
344, 345, 348, 361; Paracas cords, possible origins in, La Ventilla, Teotihuacan: corpus of glyphs from, 84;
350n1; study of, 277278; tocapus and, 279284, 288, marcador from, 82, 83; Plaza de los Glifos (See Plaza
289290, 300301; Toledan-era viceroyalty, khipus de los Glifos, Teotihuacan); shields depicted at, 103;
of governance under, 353; in Tupicocha, 354, 354355, zoomorphic vehicles at, 92, 93
374; as writing systems, 387. See also khipu typologies; Lacadena, Alfonso, x, 30, 48, 52, 77, 177, 385
patrimonial khipus in Rapaz Lagoon of Primordial Blood (Quelatinizoo), 158162, 166
khipu typologies, 319352; archival images or icons, 342 Lake Titicaca and ruins of Tiwanaku, association of
343, 342344; archival similarities and differences, tocapus with, 288
328329, 342344; archives of Inka-type khipus based Lambityeco: Tomb 6, Mound 195, 125, 127, 128; Tomb 11,
on provenience, construction of, 325327, 326, 327; Mound 195, carved baton or spatula made of deer
canuto khipus, 322323, 323, 350n3; ceque system tibia from, 134, 135
khipus, 345; color values and patterns, 338339, 340, Landa, Diego de, 13, 1415, 16, 18, 278, 386
341, 342343; comparing and distinguishing types, Langley, James, 48, 102, 103
325; cord attachment methods, 331332, 332; fiber type language. See speech and language
and cord construction, 329331, 330, 331; functional Lpida de Bazan, Monte Albn, 91, 92
types, 344345; Inka-type khipus, 323325, 326; Larco Hoyle, Rafael, 229231, 246n1
KCCS (Khipu Color Code System), 339; KDB (Khipu Las Colinas, Tlaxcala, Teotihuacan-style ceramic bowl
Database), 320, 325, 326, 329, 334, 338, 350n5, 361; from, 84
key-type Wari khipus, 321, 322; knot construction Later Oaxacan scribal tradition, 113, 134, 139, 143
and directionality, 332338, 333, 334337; measuring Leakey, L. S. B., 18

402 i n de x
Lehmann, Walter, 43, 239 Maya glyphs, 2130; absolute size and relative proportion
Leibsohn, Dana, 2, 176 of, 2426, 25; Choltian hypothesis, 27, 36n6; content
Len, Cieza de, 308309n11 used for, 26; diglossia in, 28, 37n10; Dumbarton Oaks
Lettera apologetica (Raimondo di Sangro Sansevero, conferences on, 12; glottochronology applied to, 26,
1750), 284 28; heterography (variation at any one time), 34; as
Lvi-Strauss, Claude, 139, 145n16 hieroglyphic script, 15, 386387; Japanese script and,
Levillier, Roberto, 353 16; living essence attributed to, 26; morphosyllables,
Lienzo de Amoltepec, 162164, 163, 169n16 2830, 29; non-Maya glyphs with, 26, 27; phonic and
Lienzo de Chiepetlan, 162 linguistic characteristics, 2630; polycode nature
Lienzo de Cuauhquechollan, 162 of, 24; production of, 22, 2224; somatic framework
Lienzo de Guevea, 153, 154 for, 26; supernatural resonances of, 24; surviving
Lienzo de Jicalan or Jucutacato, 162 examples and media, 2122; Teotihuacan writing
Lienzo de Petlacala, 150, 162 and, 7778, 90, 9093, 91, 92. See also Knorosov, Yuri
Lienzo de Tequixtepec I, 158 Valentinovich, decipherment of Maya glyphs by;
Lienzo de Tira de Xalatzala, 162 variations in Maya glyphs over space and time
Lienzo de Tlapiltepec, 158, 165 McClelland, Donna, 239
Lienzo de Tlaxcala, 88, 102 McCormac, F. G., 364
liminal places, migration from, 162, 166 Medina Susano, R. Clorinda, 371
literacy, 23, 190 Medrano, Sonia, 48
literary themes, elaboration and abbreviation of. See Memoria de Juquila (Memoria probanza de Yetzegoa),
elaboration and abbreviation 166
llamas, Chuquibamba textiles symbolic use of, 261262 Memoria de Yacuini (Memoria probanza de Yacuini), 166
llutu kuychi (mourning/dark rainbow) textile colors, 339 Memorial de Solol, 53
Locke, Leland, 278 Mndez, Cecilia, 373
Lockhart, James, 219 Codex Mendoza, 85, 178, 179, 181, 182, 184, 185, 188, 217,
logograms, and Knorosovs decipherment of Maya 218, 219, 279, 309n17
script, 1516 Mendoza, Antonio de, 212
logographic functions in Moche ceramic imagery, Mendoza y Velasco, don Juan de, 166
238239 Mexica codices, 2, 177184, 178, 179, 180, 182, 183, 198, 199.
Loo, Peter van der, 150, 151, 153 See also specific codices
Los Cerritos Norte, Cotzumalhuapa inscription at, 50 Mexica stone monuments, 184190, 185, 187, 189
Los Horcones: Stela 2, 79, 80; Teotihuacan writing at, 78 Codex Mexicanus, 168169n56, 178, 179, 181, 185, 186,
Lounsbury, Floyd, 1, 16 212, 213215, 215
Lowland Maya writing, as closed system, 66 Cdice Mexicayotl, 168n5
Lysenko, Trofim, 11, 16 Mexico-Tenochtitlan: Aztec writing at, 177181, 182,
184187, 192, 192n1; elaboration and abbreviation of
literary themes at, 157, 166; founding of, 217, 220;
machc, 239 El Plano del Papel de Maguey showing chinampas at,
Mackey, Carol J., 354 88, 89. See also Templo Mayor, Mexico-Tenochtitlan
Macuilxochitl, carved human mandible from, 134, 136 Mexico-Tlatelolco, 180, 181, 192n1
Madrid Codex, 15, 35n2, 80, 81 Middle Horizon/Wari khipus, 321, 321322, 322, 325, 350
Codex Magliabechiano, 202, 206 migration theme, 156, 162168, 163, 165
Maksimov, A. N., 12 Millon, Clara, 84, 103
Malinowski, Bronislaw, 11 miniaturized items, 139, 145n16
Manco Capac, 297, 301305, 302, 303, 304 mistakes in writing, semiology of, 139143, 141, 142
Mapa de Cuauhtlanzinco, 162 Mixtec codices: Cotzumalhuapa writing and, 66; darts,
Mapa de Teozacualco, 157, 158 use of, 95; decipherment efforts, 2; Dumbarton Oaks
marcadors: El Mundo Perdido, Tikal, 83, 90, 101; La conferences on, 2; emblematic play in, 385; events and
Ventilla, Teotihuacan, 82, 83 places, manuscripts organized around, 177; jewels
Marcus, Joyce, 91, 385 in feminine names in, 150; Later Oaxacan scribal
marked beans (pallares) in Moche ceramic imagery, 229, tradition and, 113; migration theme and, 162165;
230 Moche ceramic imagery compared, 238; places of
Marr, Nikolai Y., 11 origin, 158, 161; sacred birth theme and, 167; thematic
marriage alliances and genealogical slabs, 144n9 units in, 156
Marx, Karl, 11, 12 Moche ceramic imagery, 227249; compounded signs,
Matatlan, genealogical slab probably from El Palmillo 239240, 240; iconic signs with logographic functions,
embedded in wall of house in, 125, 128 239; machc, 239; marked beans (pallares), 229, 230;
Matrcula de Huexotzinco, 52 Mixtec and Aztec traditions compared, 238; molds,

index 403
manufacture and use of, 233234, 234, 235; mortuary non-Maya glyphs, use of, 26; places of origin and,
contexts of, 229; notational elements, Larco Hoyles 157162; Teotihuacan writing and, 77, 78, 84, 85, 88,
theories regarding, 228, 229, 229231, 230; oral literary 89; thematic units in, 156
tradition and, 245; phases in, 246n1; porras (conical napa or puca llama, 262
mace heads), 235, 236, 239; preadaptation toward visual Naples documents and the khipu, 284, 306n6, 310n24,
signing in, 233; rebus devices, 239; relationship to 312n42
monumental and performance art, 228, 229; Revolt of Naranjo, identification of scribes producing Maya glyphs
the Objects scene, semasiographic nature of, 241244, in, 23
241245; semasiography defined and described, Navarrete, Federico, 175, 383, 385, 393394
231233; speech or language, not reducible to, 240 NeighborNet, 345348, 346, 347
241; stepped pyramid motif, logographic aspects of, New Fire ceremony, 117, 158, 186, 192
238, 238239; Warrior theme demonstrating use of Nicholson, H. B., 1, 2, 151, 190
conventionalized signs, 234238, 235, 236, 237, 240 Noriega, Mound 4, genealogical slab from cist in, 125, 128
Moche costume and performance, 228, 229 Nowotny, Karl Anton, 2, 153
Moche murals, tocapu-like figures in, 293297, 294, 295, Nueva cornica y buen gobierno (Guaman Poma, 1615),
296, 305 279280, 280, 283, 301, 304, 310n24
Moche pyramid complexes and monumental art, 228, uie scribal tradition: alabaster carved vessels, 134;
229 calendric notation in, 78; defined and described, 112,
Moctezuma, in Codex Mendoza, 218, 219 113; mortuary contexts, 130, 132
Molina el Cuzqueo, Cristbal de, 288, 289, 297, 300, Nun Yax Ayiin, Tikal Stelae 31 and 32, 99, 100
Monaghan, John, 175
Montana site: Cotzumalhuapa writings and decline of, Ocelotzin, 213, 214
48; Teotihuacan cultural traits at, 48
Okladnikov, A. P., 16
Monte Albn: Building J, 140, 142; Building L-sub, 114,
Olderogge, Dmitri Alexeyevich, 14, 16
114117, 116, 138, 139, 140, 145n17; calendrical names of
Olivier, Guilhem, 186, 187
owners, objects marked with, 134, 135; Estela Lisa, 91,
open versus closed writing systems, 66, 384
93; Fragments S11 and S16, South Platform, 140, 142;
oral literary tradition: Aztec writing and, 175176,
Lpida de Bazan, 91, 92; Middle Formative danzante
191192; ethnoiconological analogies drawn from, 156;
sculptures at, 100; miniature items from, 137, 139;
khipus and tocapus in, 279; Moche ceramic imagery
Monument SP2, South Platform, 140, 141; Monument
and, 245; written transmission versus, 45
SP8a, South Platform, 140, 142; Monument SP9, South
origin theme and places of origin, 156, 157162, 159, 160
Platform, 140, 142; Mound II slab, 117, 119; scribal
orthographical issues, 6
error at, 140143, 141, 142; Stela 1, 92, 93; Stela 7, 91;
orthostats: human skin as writing surface on, 138, 139;
Teotihuacan writing at, 83, 91, 9193, 94; Terrace
79 house, ceramic plaque from, 134, 135; Tomb 7, preservation of performance and place-making in,
miniature weaving baton from, 137, 139; Tomb 104, 125, 114116, 114123, 118121, 123, 124; scribal error on, 140
126127, 134, 135, 140; Tomb 158, Terrace 27, carved lintel Codex Osuna, 212
from, 130, 131; Tombs 139141, Terrace 21, 140, 142 Oudijk, Michel R., 149, 385, 394
Morgan, Lewis Henry, 11, 12, 17
Morley, Sylvanus, 14, 18, 30
morphosyllables in Maya glyphs, 2830, 29 Pacaritambo, Inka caves of origin at, 297, 298, 308n11
mortuary contexts: of coastal writing tradition, 130134, Pachacamac khipus, 328, 335, 344, 345, 348, 361
133; of Moche ceramic imagery, 229; of uie scribal Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamaygua, Santa Cruz, 279, 297,
tradition, 130, 132; personhood and human body, 298, 299, 311n38
notions of, 125139, 126129, 131133, 135138; of Palacios, Enrique, 185
Zapotec writing, 125130 pallares (marked beans) in Moche ceramic imagery, 229,
Moteuhczoma Ilhuicamina, 186, 188 230
Moteuhczoma Xocoyotzin, 186, 192 Palo Gordo: inventory of Cotzumalhuapa inscriptions
Motolinia [Toribio de Benavente], ix, 202 at, 50; Monument 10, 60; Monument 24, 63, 64;
Muchic or Yunga language, 239 Monument 25, 6263, 63
mummified remains, writing on skin of, 138, 139 Palo Verde: inventory of Cotzumalhuapa inscriptions at,
Mura, Martn de: on khipus, 326; on tocapus, 281, 287, 50; Monument 1, 59
298, 301305, 302, 303, 310n22, 310n24 Panofsky, Erwin, 150, 151
Paris Codex, 35n2, 80, 81
Parry, Milman, 149
Nahua and Nahuatl: Cotzumalhuapa writings and pars pro toto convention in Teotihuacan writing, 95, 98,
Nahua day names, 53; migration theme and, 162, 164; 98100

404 i n de x
Pasa Qullqa (storehouse) and Kaha Wayi (khipu house), Post-Monte Albn scribal tradition, 112, 113
Rapaz, 355360, 356, 357, 358, 359, 373 Prem, Hans, 385
Pasin, absolute size and relative proportion of Maya Primeros memoriales (Sahagn), 102, 202
glyphs at, 24 Probanza de Yetzelalag (seventeenth century), 166
patrimonial khipus in Rapaz, 353377; Catholicism, processualism, 4
no association with, 358; dating of, 364368, 373; propagative syllables in Maya glyphs, 3234, 33
figurines, 362, 363, 364, 365, 367, 371, 373; historical Proskouriakoff, Tatiana, 1, 104
context, 353354; Kaha Wayi (khipu house) and Pasa puca or napa llama, 262
Qullqa (storehouse), 355360, 356, 357, 358, 359, 373; puka kuychi (red rainbow) textile colors, 339
khipu collection, 358, 360364, 361, 362, 363; meaning pyramid complexes, Moche, 228, 229
attributed to, 363; military history and Peruvian War pyramid motif, stepped, in Moche ceramic imagery,
of Independence in Rapaz area, 364373, 366369, 372; logographic aspects of, 238, 238239
Pre-Columbian khipus, not resembling, 363364, 374; Pyramid of the Moon, Burial 2, five Tlaloc water jars
scholarly study of, 355; Tupicocha khipus and, 354, from, 103
354355, 374; village, description of, 355356 Pyramid of the Plumed Serpents, Xochicalco, 93
Peirce, Charles S., 111, 233 Pyramid of the Sun, Late Preclassic Chicanel pottery in
performance: in Aztec writing tradition, 175176, interior fill of, 78
191192; elaboration and abbreviation of literary
themes and, 114116, 114123, 118121, 123, 124; in
Moche culture, 228, 229; writing as cultural category Quelatinizoo (Lagoon of Primordial Blood), 158162, 166
compared to, 380381 queros with tocapus, 285, 286, 287, 297, 305
personhood and human body, writing conveying Quetzalcoatl, 152, 164
notions of, 125139, 126129, 131133, 135138 Quetzalteueyac, 158
Peten, San Diego wall carving at, 25 Quicopecua, Tomb 1, Mound 1, 125, 126127
Peterson, Jeanette, 202 quilca, 278, 308n9
Philip II (king of Spain), death inventory of, 300 Quilter, Jeffrey, 2
pictographic systems versus hieroglyphic script, 386387 quincunx motif: Tlaloc head with quincunx in mouth,
pictures versus glyphs, 385386 Teotihuacan, 81, 90, 96, 98, 101, 101103, 102; tocapus
Piedra Labrada: Stela 1, 81, 82; Stela 3, 133, 134; Stela 11, and, 297, 299
130, 133; stela with Teotihuacan water sign, 83, 84; quipu. See khipu
Teotihuacan writing at, 78, 81, 82, 83, 84
Piedras Negras: identification of scribes producing Maya
glyphs in, 23; Panel 2, 87 Radcliffe-Brown, A. R., 11
Pillsbury, Joanne, x, 3 Rapaz. See patrimonial khipus in Rapaz
Pintura de la Peregrinacin de los Culhuaque-Mexitin Rawlinson, Henry, 18
(Mapa Sigenza), 162, 168169n56 rebus writing and rebus devices, 77, 210, 222n16, 234, 238,
Pipil and Cotzumalhuapa writings, 53 239, 384, 387
Pizarro, Pedro, 259 rgime dhistoricit (historical sensibility) in Aztec
place-making and performance, relationship of writing writing, 176178, 184, 188, 190, 191
to, 114116, 114123, 118121, 123, 124 Relacin de la provincia de los Collaguas (Juan de Ulloa
places of origin and origin theme, 156, 157162, 159, 160 Mogolln, 1583), 272
El Plano del Papel de Maguey, 88, 89 Relacin de las antigedades del Pir (Santa Cruz
Plaza de los Glifos, Teotihuacan: day signs, 80, 81, 82; Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamaygua, ca. 1613), 279, 297, 298
Early Classic painted grids at, 87, 88; emblematic Relacin de las cosas de Yucatn (Diego de Landa), 13,
glyphs (toponyms, titles, and personal names), 84, 85; 1415, 16, 278
jaguars devouring hearts, 102; Tlaloc and quincunx Relacin de las fbulas y los ritos de los incas (Molina el
sign, 102, 103 Cuzqueo, ca. 1575), 288, 307n7
Pleiades constellation and Chuquibamba textile notation Relacin de Macuilxochtil, 52
systems, 259, 267 Relacin geogrfica of Cholula, 152153, 160
polychrome mural fragment with Teotihuacan day sign, Reptiles Eye glyph in Teotihuacan writing, 81, 8182
83, 8384 Revolt of the Objects scene in Moche ceramic imagery,
polycode nature of Maya glyphs, 24 241244, 241245
Ponce Monolith, Tiwanaku, 289 Ro Grande 2, coastal Oaxaca, carved stones from, 122
Popol Vuh, 164 ritual petitions, counted offerings in, 153, 155
Porras, Bartolom de, 300 River of Jade and Quetzal Feathers, 158, 162
porras (conical mace heads) in Moche ceramic imagery, Rivers, W. H. R., 17
235, 236, 239 Robertson, Donald, 177
Porter, James, 100 Roman Catholicism. See Catholicism

index 405
Roman y Zamora, Jernimo, 281 shields, Teotihuacan monumental rendering of, 99,
Rosny, Lon de, 15 100103
Rowe, Ann, 256 singing canine heads and weapon bundles, Teotihuacan-
Rowe, John, 284 style, 95, 96
Roys, Ralph, 18 Sipan, 227, 228
Rufino Tamayo stela, possibly from Guerrero, 79, 94, size of signs: Cotzumalhuapa writings, oversized signs
9495 in, 56, 5657; Maya glyphs, absolute size and relative
Ruz Estrada, Arturo, 355, 363, 364 proportion of, 2426, 25
Rulers 13 and 15, Copan, 23, 24 skull birds in Cotzumalhuapa writing, 53, 5354, 54
Russia. See Knorosov, Yuri Valentinovich, decipherment Smith, Mary Elizabeth, 1, 191
of Maya glyphs by social and cultural meaning. See cultural category,
writing systems as; cultural code, written surface as
somatic framework: for Maya glyphs, 26; for Maya stelae,
sacred birth theme, 167 36n5
Sahagn, Bernardino de, 168169n56, 169n10, 202204, Soviet Union. See Knorosov, Yuri Valentinovich,
206 decipherment of Maya glyphs by
Salomon, Frank, 353, 394 space. See time and space
San Baltazar Chichicapan, genealogical slab attributed Spanish conquest: Aztec writing and, 191;
to, 125, 128 ethnoiconological approach to representations
San Bartolo: origins of Maya glyphs and, 31; size of Maya of, 166; khipus in colonial and Catholic contexts,
glyphs used at, 25, 26 290, 353355; Moteuhczoma Xocoyotzins failure to
San Bartolome Lachixova, title of, 166 build sacrificial stone and, 192; tocapus, colonial
San Jose de Moro, 227, 228 understanding of, 278283, 287288, 305. See also
San Jos Mogote, Monument 3, 122123, 123 hybridity of graphic systems after Spanish conquest;
San Juan Tabaa, title of, 166 patrimonial khipus in Rapaz
San Martn, Jos de, 368370 Spear-Thrower Owl, 90, 101
San Pedro Aae, alabaster vessel from, 134139, 136 speech and language: Moche ceramic imagery not
San Pedro Quiatoni, stone miniature replica of tomb reducible to, 240241; writing as cultural category
facade, 125, 127 compared to, 380381; writing, relationship to, 111112
Sangro Sansevero, Raimondo di, ix, 284 SplitsTree4, 345348
Cdice de Santa Mara Asuncin, 85 Spranz, Bodo, 1
Santa Mara Camotlan, writing on skin of mummified Squier, E. G., 290
remains from, 138, 139 Stalin, Joseph, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16
Santa Rosa site, Cotzumalhuapa inscription at, 50 Star glyph, Cotzumalhuapa writings, 50, 5759, 58
Sarmiento de Gamboa, Pedro, 281, 288, 300, 307n7 Stephens, John Lloyd, ix
Saussure, Ferdinand de, 111, 232 stepped pyramid motif in Moche ceramic imagery,
Schele, Linda, 1 logographic aspects of, 238, 238239
Schellhas, Paul, 13 Stone of Tizoc, 181, 184, 186188, 187, 191192
Schultze-Jena, Leonhard, 153 Stuart, David, x, 1, 24, 28, 32, 34, 88, 104
scribal error, semiology of, 139143, 141, 142 Sucre, Jos Antonio de, 370371, 373
seated character with Cotzumalhuapa Star glyph, syllabary, identification of Maya script as, 15
portable sculpture, 50 synharmony, principle of, 15
Codex Selden (Codex Aute), 114, 115, 150, 151, 167, 169n8 syntagmic relationships in spoken and written language,
Selden Roll, 164 111112
Seler, Eduard, 57, 59
self-sacrifice rituals, 188190
semasiography, 231233; dialectic model of, 232233; Takalik Abaj: Classic period, as important center
glottography versus, 384385; hybrid graphic systems through, 48; Late Preclassic writings from, 4647
as semasiographic, 198, 233; mathematical notation Talum carved vessels, 133, 134
as semasiographic, 231232; Mexican pictography as Tamarindito, identification of scribes producing Maya
semasiographic system, 198; in Moche Revolt of the glyphs in, 23
Objects scene, 241244, 241245; musical notation as tattooed mummified remains from Santa Mara
semasiographic, 231; origins and meaning of term, Camotlan, 138, 139
221n3; road signs as semasiographic, 232; triadic Taube, Karl, 4748, 61, 77, 134, 385, 394395
model of, 233 Tawantinsuyu, 298299, 299
semiological theory of writing, 111112 tecalli bowl carved with Reptiles Eye glyph, 81, 82
serpents devouring hearts in Teotihuacan art, 102, 103 tecalli plumed serpent with Teotihuacan day names, 78, 79
shawls. See Chuquibamba textile notation systems tecalli sculpture with Tlaloc and quincunx sign, 101

40 6 i n de x
Techinantitla, Teotihuacan writing at, 84 Thomas, Cyrus, 15
Codex Telleriano-Remensis, 178, 179, 180, 181, 183, 188, Thompson, John Eric Sidney: Cold War decipherment of
202, 206, 212 Maya glyphs and, 10, 1418; Cotzumalhuapa writings
Temple of the Sun, Cuzco, 259 and, 43, 5152, 54
Temple-Plaza-Altar complexes, 117, 118, 125 Tikal: Burial 116, incised bone from, 90, 9091;
temple signs, Teotihuacan, 86, 8687 identification of scribes producing Maya glyphs in,
Templo Mayor, Mexico-Tenochtitlan: Aztec writing 23; somatic framework of stelae at, 36n5; Stela 1, 90;
depicting, 177181, 184186; Coatepec, representing, Stela 31, 99, 100, 105n6; Stela 32, 99, 100, 104; Temple
161; Coyolxauhqui monument at base of staircase, of the Inscriptions, 24, 25; Teotihuacan arrival at, 88,
122123; dedication stone, 188190, 189, 191192; 104; Teotihuacan writing at, 78, 83, 90, 9091
deposition on cult images removed from, 212213, Tikal dynasty: Maya glyph changes and, 32; probable
213, 219 usurpation by Teotihuacan, 88, 104
Tenoch, enthronement of, Codex Azcatitlan, 216, 216217 Tilantongo, 157, 167
Tenochtitlan. See Mexico-Tenochtitlan time and space: Aztec writing, chronotopes in, 176178,
Tenosique Bowl, non-Maya glyphs in Maya inscriptions 181, 184, 190, 191; tocapus used to represent significant
on, 27 spaces, 297300, 298, 299. See also variations in Maya
Teocalli de la Guerra Sagrada, 181, 184186, 185, 187, glyphs over space and time
190, 192 Tiquisate bowl, Cotzumalhuapa writing and, 53
(Teo)Colhuacan, 158, 162 Tira de la Peregrinacin, 168169n56. See also Codex
Teohuaonohualli, 213, 214 Boturini
Teotenango script: inventory of inscriptions compared Tira de Tepechpan, 192n2, 199, 211, 215
to Cotzumalhuapa, 49; lack of study of, 77 Tiwanaku monoliths and tocapus, 288289, 289
Teotihuacan: grid plan of metropolis, 88. See also Tizoc: dedication stone, Templo Mayor, Mexica-
La Ventilla, Teotihuacan; Plaza de los Glifos, Tenochtitlan, 188, 190; Stone of Tizoc, 181, 184,
Teotihuacan 186188, 187, 191192
Teotihuacan-style statuette with day sign, 79, 80 Tlachihualtepec or Great Pyramid of Cholula, 160, 161
Teotihuacan writing, 77109; in context of coastal writing tlacochcalco, 87
tradition, 4748, 66; Cotzumalhuapa writings and, Tlaloc heads: in Cotzumalhuapa writing, 53;
4849, 95; day signs in, 7884, 7983; development Teotihuacan Tlaloc head with quincunx in mouth,
of Early Classic central Mexican writing and, 7778; 81, 90, 96, 98, 101, 101103, 102
emblematic glyphs (toponyms, titles, and personal Tlaltecuhtli, 185, 186, 187, 188
names), 8488, 85, 86, 87, 385; grids, central Mexican Tlamanalco church choir paintings, 202
examples of writing in, 87, 8890, 89; Guerrero, Tlapacoya, lack of writing tradition at, 77
monumental texts from, 78, 79, 9397, 9398, 94, Tlapanecs, ritual use of counted bundles by, 153, 155
104; head signs in frontal view, 104; human sacrifice, Tlatelolco. See Mexico-Tlatelolco
depictions of, 102, 103; Maya influence, 7778, 90, Tlatolatl, 212
9093, 91, 92; open systems, trend toward, 66; tlatoque (ruler) successions in Mexica codices, 178181, 184
pars pro toto convention, 95, 98, 98100; shields, Tlaxcallan property plan, 213, 214
monumental rendering of, 99, 100103; speech scrolls Tlaxiaco, alabaster vessel from, 134139, 136
in, 61; symmetry as characteristic of, 100; Tlaloc head Tlazolteotl, 208
with quincunx in mouth, 81, 90, 96, 98, 101, 101103, toads, Chuquibamba textiles symbolic use of, 261262
102; Zapotec writing and, 48, 7778, 83, 90, 9093, 91, tocapu, 277317; ancestral mummies wrapped in
92, 100, 104; zoomorphic vehicles, 92, 93 textiles with, 5; arrangement of, variations in, 292;
Tepantitla, Teotihuacan writings from, 84, 85, 96, 102, Berlin cross painted with, 284287, 285; on chullpas,
103 290, 292; color schemes, significance of, 286287;
Tepecuacuilco: Stela 1, 9596, 96; Stela 2, 96, 97, 98; defining, 286288; Dumbarton Oaks conferences
Teotihuacan writing at, 78 on, 2; fixed set of signs, problem with interpretation
Tepelmeme de Morelos, Oaxaca, Protoclassic murals, as, 305; Inkas lack of writing system and, 281283,
80, 81 308n9; Jama-Coaque vessels with, 296, 297, 305;
Tepeyollotl-Tezcatlipoca, 186 khipus and, 279284, 288, 289290, 300301; Lake
Testerian manuscripts, 206209, 206210 Titicaca and ruins of Tiwanaku, association with,
Tetitla, Teotihuacan emblematic glyphs from, 86 288; in Manco Capac portraits, 301305, 302, 303,
Texcocan manuscripts, organization of, 177 304; Moche murals, tocapu-like figures in, 293297,
textiles: color system for, 339; costume and performance 294, 295, 296, 305; multiple media, appearances in,
in Moche culture, 228, 229; tocapus and, 278, 287, 289. 290293; on queros, 285, 286, 287, 297, 305; quilca,
See also Chuquibamba textile notation systems; khipu relationship to, 278; quincunx motif and, 297, 299;
Tezcatlipoca, 103, 186, 187 as seales (signs), 300301; significant spaces, used
Tezozmoc, Fernando Alvarado, 181 to represent, 297300, 298, 299; Spanish conquest,

index 407
in writings and images after, 278283, 287288, 305; characteristics, 2630; Postclassic-period glyphs,
specific meanings for individual forms, efforts to 34; Preclassic- and Early Classic-period glyphs,
decipher, 283284; symbolic meanings attached 31; propagative syllables, use of, 3234, 33; social
to, 288290; textiles, relationship to, 278, 287, 289; circumstances affecting, 23, 31, 32, 3435; vowel
Tiwanaku monoliths and, 288289, 289; uncus (male notations, introduction of, 32
tunics) with, 281, 282, 284287, 290, 291, 293294, Codex Vaticanus A/Ros, 178, 180, 206
295, 300, 301305, 302, 303, 304; urpus painted as if Codex Vaticanus B, 103
wearing uncus with, 290, 293 Vega, Garcilaso de la, 281, 326, 328
Tokarev, Sergei Aleksandrovich, 12, 13 Ventris, Michael, 18
Toledan-era viceroyalty, khipus of governance under, 353 Veracruz: Teotihuacan writing at, 78, 100; Xochicalco
Tollan, 159161 Glyph A on monument probably from, 82, 83
Tollan Cholollan, 152 Codex Vienna, 385. See also Codex Vindobonensis
Tolstov, Sergei Pavlovich, 1112, 13, 14 Codex Vindobonensis, 159, 164165, 165. See also Codex
Codex Tonindeye (Codex Zouche-Nuttall), 115, 152, 158, Vienna
167, 169n8 Viracocha, 288
Torres Straits Expedition (1898), 17 Vista Linda, Monument 1, 58
Totometla, Tlaloc and quincunx sign from, 101 Von Winning, Hasso, 82, 86, 103
Tovar calendar, 206
Townsend, Richard, 186
Tozzer, Alfred, 18 Wari/Middle Horizon khipus, 321, 321322, 322, 325, 350
tribute khipus, 344, 345 Warrior theme in Moche ceramic imagery, 234238, 235,
Codex Tudela, 202, 206 236, 237, 240
tukapu. See tocapu White Patio mural at Atetelco, 96
Tula: lack of study of, 77; Teotihuacan writing and, 82, 87
Whittaker, Gordon, 385386
Codex Tulane, 170n22
Wichmann, Sren, 30
tunics, male. See uncus
women and writing: Chuquibamba textiles for women,
Tupicocha khipus, 354, 354355, 374
252253 (See also Chuquibamba textile notation
systems); ethnoiconology of representations of
women, 150, 151; Maya glyphs, female literacy in, 23
U-shaped element serving as toponymic sign for
writing systems in Pre-Columbian America, ixx,
Teotihuacan and Xochicalco, 96, 97
17; comparative dialogue, importance of,
Uaxactun Stela, 27
36, 18; as cultural category, 379390 (See also
Ulloa Mogolln, Juan de, 272
cultural category, writing systems as); as cultural
Umberger, Emily, 186, 187, 188
code, 111148 (See also cultural code, written
uncus (male tunics), 252253; Peabody Museum
Chuquibamba uncu with solar calendar, 252, 253, surface as); cultural superiority associated with
257258, 258, 266, 268, 269; with tocapu designs, 281, possession of writing system, 306n3; Dumbarton
282, 284287, 290, 291, 293294, 295, 300, 301305, 302, Oaks conferences on, ixx, 13; elaboration and
303, 304; urpus painted as if wearing, 290, 293 abbreviation of literary themes in, 149174 (See
Urcid, Javier, 2, 111, 382, 386, 395 also elaboration and abbreviation); hybrid graphic
urpus painted as if wearing uncus with tocapu designs, systems, 197225 (See also hybridity of graphic
290, 293 systems after Spanish conquest); Inka lack of, 281
Urton, Gary, ix, x, 1, 2, 319, 320, 323, 324, 334, 338, 339, 345, 283, 308n9 (See also Chuquibamba textile notation
380, 395 systems; Cuzco; khipu; tocapu); oral versus written
USSR. See Knorosov, Yuri Valentinovich, decipherment transmission, 45; orthography of, 6; true writing,
of Maya glyphs by status as, ix, 2; use of writing as term, problem of,
Uxmal, Yukatekan terms in script at, 27 379380, 387388. See also specific systems, e.g.,
Uxul stelae, size of glyphs on, 24, 25 Maya glyphs

variations in Maya glyphs over space and time, 2142; xiuhamatl, 177
in absolute size and relative proportion, 2426, Xiuhtecuhtli, 103, 187
25; consonant sensitivity, development of, 32, 33; Xochicalco Glyph A on Teotihuacan-style vessels and
diversity, accounting for, 3034; heterography monuments, 82, 8284
(variation at any one time), 34; Middle and Late Xochicalco script: animated signs in, 59, 5960;
Classic-period glyphs, 3234; morphosyllables, inventory of inscriptions compared to
2830, 29; number of glyphs in use at any one Cotzumalhuapa, 49; lack of study of, 77; Temple
time and place, 3031; phonic and linguistic of the Feathered Serpent, 59; Teotihuacan writing

40 8 i n de x
and, 48, 66, 78, 82, 87, 93, 94, 101; Tlaloc head with Zapotec writing: alabaster carved vessels, 134; and
quincunx in mouth, 101 Cuilapan cloister stone, 117, 118; defined and
Xolochiuhyan place name, Codex Mendoza, 85 described, 112, 112113; genealogical records,
Xoxocotlan, Tomb A, lintel, 140, 142 inscriptions of, 125, 126128; human skin as writing
surface for, 139; length of use of, 21; migration
theme and, 162, 165166; mortuary contexts of many
Yagul, Tomb 28, Terrace C, 125, 126127 inscriptions, 125130; places of origin and, 158160;
Yaxchilan, absolute size and relative proportion of Maya scribal error in, 140143, 141, 142; symmetry as
glyphs at, 24, 25 characteristic of, 100; Teotihuacan writing and, 48,
Yaxha stela, 24, 25 7778, 83, 90, 9093, 91, 92, 100, 104; Xochicalco
Yaxitzadao, 166 Glyph A probably originating in, 83
year counts: in Mexica codices, 178181; on Mexica stone Zender, Marc, 34, 385
monuments, 186 Zhdanov, Andrei, 1011
Yogana: alabaster vessel attributed to, 134139, 136; effigy Zimatlan: human carved parietal bone attributed to, 134,
vessel from, 125130, 129 136; stone cylindrical basin attributed to, 134, 135
Yucatan, number of Maya glyphs in use in, 30 zoomorphic vehicles, Teotihuacan figures riding, 92, 93
Yukatekan terms in script at Uxmal and Chichen Itza, 27 Codex Zouche-Nuttall (Codex Tonindeye), 115, 152, 158,
167, 169n8
Zuidema, R. Tom, 251, 286, 345, 386, 395
Zacuala Palace mural, Teotihuacan, 93 Zumrraga, Juan de, 212213, 214

index 409
dumbar ton oak s pre- columbia n
s y mp osia a nd col loquia
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edited by Elizabeth P. Benson, 1968 Pre-Columbian Art, edited by Elizabeth Hill
Boone, 1982
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by Elizabeth P. Benson, 1971 Highland-Lowland Interaction in Mesoamerica:
Interdisciplinary Approaches, edited by Arthur G.
The Cult of the Feline, edited by Elizabeth P. Miller, 1983
Benson, 1972
Ritual Human Sacrifice in Mesoamerica, edited by
Mesoamerican Writing Systems, edited by Elizabeth Hill Boone, 1984
Elizabeth P. Benson, 1973
Painted Architecture and Polychrome Monumental
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The Junius B. Bird Pre-Columbian Textile The Aztec Templo Mayor, edited by Elizabeth Hill
Conference, edited by Ann Pollard Rowe, Boone, 1986
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Mesoamerican Sites and World-Views, edited Cordy-Collins, 1990
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Wealth and Hierarchy in the Intermediate Area,
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Mexico, edited by Elizabeth Hill Boone, 1982

4 11
Art, Ideology, and the City of Teotihuacan, edited Twin Tollans: Chichn Itz, Tula, and the
by Janet Catherine Berlo, 1992 Epiclassic to Early Postclassic Mesoamerican
World, edited by Jeff Karl Kowalski and Cynthia
Latin American Horizons, edited by Don Stephen Kristan-Graham, 2007
Rice, 1993
Variations in the Expression of Inka Power, edited
Lowland Maya Civilization in the Eighth Century by Richard L. Burger, Craig Morris, and Ramiro
AD, edited by Jeremy A. Sabloff and John S. Matos Mendieta, 2007
Henderson, 1993
El Nio, Catastrophism, and Culture Change in
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Elizabeth Hill Boone, 1993 and Jeffrey Quilter, 2008
Tombs for the Living: Andean Mortuary Practices, Classic Period Cultural Currents in Southern and
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Function and Meaning in Classic Maya
Leonardo Lpez Lujn, 2009
Architecture, edited by Stephen D. Houston, 1998
New Perspectives on Moche Political Organization,
Social Patterns in Pre-Classic Mesoamerica, edited
edited by Jeffrey Quilter and Luis Jaime Castillo B.,
by David C. Grove and Rosemary A. Joyce, 1999
Gender in Pre-Hispanic America, edited by
Astronomers, Scribes, and Priests: Intellectual
Cecelia F. Klein, 2001
Interchange between the Northern Maya Lowlands
Archaeology of Formative Ecuador, edited by and Highland Mexico in the Late Postclassic
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Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama,
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Palaces of the Ancient New World, edited by Susan Barbara Arroyo, 2010
Toby Evans and Joanne Pillsbury, 2004
Their Way of Writing: Scripts, Signs, and
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