This long-awaited resource complements its companion volume on Classic Period monumental inscriptions. Authors Martha J. Macri and Gabrielle Vail provide a comprehensive listing of graphemes found in the Dresden, Madrid, and Paris codices, 40 percent of which are unique to these painted manuscripts, and discuss current and past interpretations of these graphemes.
The New Catalog uses an original coding system developed for the Maya Hieroglyphic Database Project. The new three-digit codes group the graphemes according to their visual, rather than functional, characteristics to allow readers to see distinctions between similar signs. Each entry contains the grapheme’s New Catalog code, an image, the corresponding Thompson number, proposed syllabic and logographic values, calendrical significance, and bibliographical citations. Appendices and an index of signs from both volumes contain images of all graphemes and variants ordered by code, allowing readers to search for graphemes by visual form or by their proposed logographic and phonetic values.
Together the two volumes of the New Catalog represent the most significant updating of the sign lists for the Maya script proposed in half a century. They provide a cutting-edge reference tool critical to the research of Mesoamericanists in the fields of archaeology, art history, ethnohistory, and linguistics, and a valuable resource to scholars specializing in comparative studies of writing systems and related disciplines.