Maya glyph from the Pakal grave deciphered

'Yej' means 'cutting-edge' and is associated to martial events.
The basic shape of the glyph resembles the molars of a jaguar. (Photo: UNAM)
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Researchers from the Center of Maya Studies (CEM) from the Philological Research Institute (IIF) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico deciphered the Mayan glyph T514, "Yej", which means "cutting-edge" and is presented in numerous inscriptions depicting events like taking war prisoners, military entries to cities and other martial events of the Maya Classic period.

During the presentation, researcher Guillermo Bernal Romero explained that the glyph was found in a text 63 years ago at the top of the Temple of the Inscriptions in the archaeological area of Palenque, in Chiapas, compound whose crypt is the tomb of the King of Palenque, K'inich Janaab' Pakal.

According to Bernal Romero, the badge is present in more than 50 Mayan inscriptions that, until the discovery, were kept from a precise meaning.

He added that after revealing the meaning of the glyph, situated as it was already mentioned in a text at the top of one of the panels of the Temple of the Inscriptions, the tomb of Pakal now reads as: "The Home of the Nine Sharp Spears".

He recalled that technology at the time prevented from decrypting the majority of the hieroglyphs, and after this discovery the sentence before mentioned is finally complete.

On a casual basis, the glyph is an integral part of names of burial enclosures including as the tomb of Pakal and other buildings associated with war, as well as titles of warriors. Among other contexts, it is a key to understanding the precise meaning of these records.

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