Cover image for Dictionary of Maya hieroglyphs
Dictionary of Maya hieroglyphs
Montgomery, John, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hippocrene Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
viii, 416 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1435.3.W75 M66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This authoritative work is the first visual dictionary of Maya glyphs published since the script's complete deciphering, offering a much-needed, comprehensive catalogue of 1100 secured glyphs. Each entry includes the illustrated glyph, its phonetic transcription, Mayan equivalent, part of speech, and meaning. About the Author John Montgomery was an illustrator, epigrapher, writer, and PhD candidate in the field of Pre-Columbian Art at the University of New Mexico. He taught art history at the South-western Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque. A long and varied experience in Central America first inspired his interest in the ancient Maya. His glyphic illustrations are based on a lifetime of involvement with Maya glyph decipherment.

Author Notes

John Montgomery is an epigrapher and illustrator

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Montgomery's handy reference will hold great interest for any student of ancient Maya civilization. Based on the painstaking scholarship of epigraphers, this text includes entries for more than 1,200 glyphs and glyph compounds. Arranged alphabetically by phonetic spelling, each entry includes the hieroglyph, its part of speech, meaning and phonetic spelling, and translation from glyph to present-day Mayan. This dictionary does not purport to be a comprehensive catalog. Montgomery (a professional epigrapher) presents a selection of core glyphs whose interpretations are widely accepted, though current epigraphic trends are represented. Most date from the Late Class period (600-900 CE), when glyphs were most uniform. The book includes a pronunciation guide, a brief explanation of the conventions used by epigraphers for glyph transcription, a glossary, and an explication of the format used for entries. Indexes list entries by language (Mayan, English, and Spanish) as well as by subject. A separate index includes the "T-Number," or number assigned to glyphs in the Thompson Catalog, a standard catalog of Maya hieroglyphs. There are numerous books that present the "how-to's" of reading Maya hieroglyphs, but this text is the only dictionary of the glyphs themselves. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. S. Crow Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Introductionp. 1
The Language of Maya Hieroglyphic Writingp. 5
Pronunciation Guidep. 7
Glottal Stopsp. 7
Vowelsp. 8
Consonantsp. 8
Orthographyp. 9
Conventions for Transcribing Glyphsp. 11
Guide to Dictionary Entriesp. 15
Guide to Abbreviations and Termsp. 17
Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphsp. 23
ap. 25
b'p. 39
chp. 47
ch'p. 71
ep. 87
ip. 91
jp. 105
kp. 129
k'p. 141
lp. 157
mp. 165
np. 177
op. 189
pp. 199
sp. 211
tp. 221
tzp. 241
tz'p. 247
up. 253
wp. 261
xp. 275
yp. 279
Emblem Glyphsp. 307
Lords of the Nightp. 319
Indicesp. 321
Language Indicesp. 323
Mayanp. 323
Englishp. 346
Spanishp. 370
Index of Visual Elementsp. 393
Subject Indicesp. 399
Numbersp. 399
Daysp. 400
Monthsp. 400
Long Countp. 401
Phonetic Signsp. 401
Verbs/Verbal Phrasesp. 403
Pronounsp. 409
Adjectivesp. 409
T-Numbersp. 411