maya codices

Codex Dresden p. 60

The Codex Dresden / Dresdensis is one of only three surviving Maya manuscripts which date to before the Spanish conquest, likely between the 12th and 15th centuries. The codex depicts the religious beliefs of the Maya people and is written in a complex logosyllabographic script. 

The top image of this page depicts Pawhatun, wearing a tortoise shell, with two warriors wielding atlatls and darts. They are located on top of a platform containing a deer and a “hok-snared” glyph collocation. 

The accompanying text reads:

?? / / waxak-?-waj / ol / / ?-ha / / pa-wah-mak / / u-kab’-hi-tz’a-tan / ta / / tu-b’a-chaak? / cha-ki

On ? 8 Kumk’u Pawah-mak ?? under the auspices of ?? Chaak.

b’olon-ok-te’ / / ?? / / yah?-winik / winal-ki / / xul?-k’in-? / / tok’-pakal / / pa-wah-och

B’olon Yokte’ ? Damage to the people; end of days. Pawah-opossum’s flint-shield (warfare). 

The bottom image depicts a figure with a black stripe kneeling and supporting a throne on his shoulders. A figure rides the throne holding a spear and shield, accompanied by a fire serpent. The spear and shield designates this figure as a warrior and is read phonetically as tok’ pakal. The deity Xiuhtecuhtli stands next to this warrior, holding a spear tired to a captive with a dark black ring around his eye. 

The accompanying text reads: 

buluk-ahaw-ahaw-wa / / lahun-yax-k’in-ni / ne / / tzutz-yi / k’atun

The k’atun was completed on 10 Yaxk’in 11 Ahaw.

ah?-kimil-la / / yu-tun / ku’la’kab’ / nal? / ch’en?

The dead person; the shaking of the earth cave.

u-yax-k’’in-yu / / b’olon-ok-te’ / / ahaw-su-wa / / ya-ahaw-su

The first sun/day of the lord of Bolon Yokte’

yah?-winik / winal-ki / / yah?-kab’-ch’en?

Damage to the people, damage to the earth cave. 


Maya Codices - There are three maya codices that have been preserved and are unanimously believed to be legitimate, the Dresden Codices, the Paris Codices and the Madrid Codices (all named after the cities where they were held). There is a fourth codices called the Grolier Codices that some do not believe to be legitimate.

The Museum hosts six other pre-hispanic codices that are not attributed to the Maya. They mostly list conquests and family genealogy.