The goal of the Maya Hieroglyphic Database Project: The Codices is to continue the task of putting the entire corpus of Maya texts from Mexico and Central America into a graphics database for the purpose of increasing access to it. The hieroglyphic texts on monumental sculpture from the Classic Period (A.D. 250-900) were the first to be included. Nearly every large site, and most of the smaller ones will have been coded by June 1997. During the proposed phase the hieroglyphic texts of the four Maya codices dating from the Postclassic Period (A.D. 1100-1600) will be added to the database. These books constitute a major part of the hieroglyphic corpus, and were the source of many early decipherments. Line drawings will be scanned and divided into individual glyph blocks and larger segments of texts (usually four glyphs blocks with accompanying figure). They will be incorporated into the existing format used for the monumental inscriptions in order to allow for full integration with them. Each record will be coded for graphemic, lexical, grammatical, syntactic, and temporal information. Not only will this increase overall access, but it will contribute to ongoing research into possible language or dialect differences between various sections of the codices. Yucatecan and Cholan languages, the modern language families believed to be closest to the language(s) of the Classic Maya are frequently put forward as the language of the codices, but precise dialect differences have yet to be defined. Phonological, lexical, and syntactic variation will be addressed in this research. The hieroglyphic database including the low resolution line drawings of glyph blocks and clauses will allow access to these texts never before realized. It will also bring the most current transcriptions and translations of the texts directly to the non-epigrapher, who may then utilize the historical, archaeological, and linguistic information they contai n. It will provide epigraphers with the ability to make truly comprehensive searches and comparisons. This database will be available on a single CD-ROM (for both PC and Macintosh systems). By fall of 1998, we expect to have portions of the database will be available on the World Wide Web. The site currently contains a summary of the project and will be periodically updated:

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
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Catherine N. Ball
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University of California Davis
United States
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