Assorted facts about the Maya Civilisation

Even if you very uncharitably count the ‘Maya civilisation’ as lasting from the Early Middle Preclassic until the end of the Terminal Classic, that’s 1,950 years. It would have ended 1,071 years ago.
The ruins of Tikal

“[O]ur knowledge of ancient Maya thought must represent only a tiny fraction of the whole picture, for of the thousands of books in which the full extent of their learning and ritual was recorded, only four have survived to modern times (as though all that posterity knew of ourselves were to be based upon three prayer books and ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’).

Michael D. Coe, The Maya, London: Thames and Hudson, 6th ed., 1999, pp. 199–200.

A Maya codex, I think.

“99% of what we today know of the Mayas, we know as the result either of what Landa has told us in the pages that follow, or have learned in the use and study of what he told.”

This picture alone convinces me he was, in fact, a piece of shit.
I’m struck by how long the last two are here — that’s some extremely long-term thinking!



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