Advanced technique being used to decipher Maya glyphs

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Mexico City, May 31 (ANI): An advanced technique known as Reflection Transformation Imaging (RTI) is being applied for the first time on Maya sculptures in Mexico to document the ancient monuments.

Carlos Pallan Gayol, archaeologist at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Mexico, said the method allows manipulating light on a photographic sequence in an interactive way, obtaining great quality images.

Pallan, responsible of the Maya Hieroglyphic and Iconographic Heap (AJIMAYA), said that although other Mesoamerican societies like Zapoteca, Mixe-Zoque and Nahua developed writing, Maya is by far the best understood and deciphered.

He pointed out that Tonina is the Maya site with more inscriptions known to present, being more than 300 the glyphs carved in monuments and some portable objects, quantity comparable only to the one found in Copan, Honduras.

He said: "Different aspects help us envision that Tonina was an important city during its peak between 688 and 708 AD, when great K'inich B'aaknal Chaak ruled over it."

Pallan, also co director of Tonina Archaeological Project, said samples of highly developed writing can be located since 400-300 AC, being contemporary of written manifestations such as those in Monte Alban, Oaxaca.

He said: "We know other civilizations developed writing as well, so it is not right to attribute it to Mayas, but to a Mesoamerican phenomenon that originated somewhere and diffused from there. Some specialists think these common features could be interpreted as forms of diffusion that parted from a Mother Culture (one of the earliest) to later ones, although new dating points out to more complex processes." (ANI)

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