Review – Breaking the Maya Code

Posted 4 February, 2019 by Nikki in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of Breaking the Maya Code by Michael D. CoeBreaking the Maya Code, Michael D. Coe

This book is, I’ll warn people right up front, also a history of how the Mayan specialists in the West failed to break the “Maya code” for far too long, due to petty jealousies and larger than life characters. Quite often Coe sketches a mini-biography of someone who was involved in the decipherment (or more often, the failure of decipherment); sometimes the biography isn’t so mini.

Still, I think it’s better written than his other book on the Mayans, which I read not that long ago — it certainly worked better for me, anyhow. Perhaps because there are glimpses of the scholars and larger than life characters who put in the work, erroneous though it often was.

The book is illustrated, both with full reproductions and sketches. For me, the full-page spreads of Mayan characters were meaningless, but I’m sure it would appeal a lot to some people to be able to have a crack at it themselves. I know I’m not visually inclined enough, so I tended to skip the examples and such, but they are there and I’m sure more visually inclined people could pick out some of the features Coe discusses.

Rating: 4/5

Tags: , , ,

Divider

2 Responses to “Review – Breaking the Maya Code”

Leave a Reply to Nikki Cancel reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.