The Maya created a
written language. They created books about their gods, leaders, major
happenings, and daily life. These books were made of soft bark and
folded like a fan. A codex is the name of a Maya book.
The Maya used both
pictures and symbols to write in their books. The pictures were
drawings, and they symbols were hieroglyphics. Maya hieroglyphics are
often referred to as "glyphs" for short. The Maya had about
700 symbols. Archaeologists have figured out what many of the symbols
mean, but not all of them.
About 600 years after
the Maya deserted their cities, the Spanish arrived in the area. The
Spanish found many Maya books. The Spanish priests took one look at the
drawings of what they believed were devils and hideous monsters, and
burned every codex they found. Fortunately, they missed some.
Writing and Codexes
the Maya Code