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Eric S. Thompson - Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, 1962.

The Mayan script, also known as Mayan glyphs or Mayan hieroglyphs, is the writing system of the Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, currently the only Mesoamerican writing system that has been substantially deciphered. The earliest inscriptions found, which are identifiably Maya, date to the 3rd century BCE in San Bartolo, Guatemala. Maya writing used logograms complemented by a set of syllabic glyphs, somewhat similar in function to modern Japanese writing. Mayan writing was called “hieroglyphics” or hieroglyphs by early European explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries who did not understand it but found its general appearance reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphs, to which the Mayan writing system is not at all related.

The Maya hieroglypic writing is arguably one of the most visually striking writing systems of the world. It is also very complex, with hundreds of unique signs or glyphs in the form of humans, animals, supernaturals, objects, and abstract designs. These signs are either logograms (to express meaning) or syllabograms (to denote sound values), and are used to write words, phrases, and sentences. In fact, the Maya can write anything that they can say.