Maya astronomy is the study of the Moon, Milky Way and other astronomical occurrences by the Precolumbian Maya Civilization of Mesoamerica. The Classic Maya in particular developed some of the most accurate pre-telescope astronomy in the world, aided by their developed writing system and their positional numeral system, both of which are indigenous to Mesoamerica; the Classic Maya understood many astronomical phenomena: for example, their estimate of the length of the synodic month was more accurate than Ptolemy's, their calculation of the length of the tropical solar year was more accurate than that of the Spanish when the latter first arrived. In 46 BC Julius Caesar decreed that the year would be made up of twelve months of 30 days each to make a year of 365 days and a leap year of 366 days; the civil year had 365.25 days. This is the Julian calendar; the solar year has 365.2422 days and by 1582 there was an appreciable discrepancy between the winter solstice and Christmas and the Vernal equinox and Easter.
Pope Gregory XIII, with the help of Italian astronomer Aloysius Lilius, reformed this system by abolishing the days October 5 through October 14, 1582. This brought the tropical years back into line, he missed three days every four centuries by decreeing that centuries are only leap years if they are evenly divisible by 400. So for example 1700, 1800, 1900 are not leap years but 1600 and 2000 are; this is the Gregorian calendar. Astronomers use the Julian/Gregorian calendar. Dates before 46 BC are converted to the Julian calendar; this is the proleptic Julian calendar. Astronomical calculations return a year zero and years; this is astronomical dating. There is no year zero in historical dating. In historical dating the year 1 BC is followed by the year 1 so for example, the year -3113 is the same as 3114 BC. Many mayanists convert Maya calendar dates into the proleptic Gregorian calendar. In this calendar, Julian calendar dates are revised as if the Gregorian calendar had been in use before October 15, 1582.
These dates must be converted to astronomical dates before they can be used to study Maya astronomy because astronomers use the Julian/Gregorian calendar. Proleptic Gregorian dates vary from astronomical dates. For example, the mythical creation date in the Maya calendar is August 11, 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar and September 6, -3113 astronomical. Astronomers describe time as a number of days and a fraction of a day since noon January 1, -4712 Greenwich Mean Time; the Julian day starts at noon. The number of days and fraction of a day elapsed since this time is a Julian day; the whole number of days elapsed since this time is a Julian day number. There are three main Maya calendars: The Long Count is a count of days. There are examples of Long Counts with many places but most of them give five places since the mythical creation date - 22.214.171.124.0. The Tzolk ` in is a 260-day calendar made up of a day from 20 day names; the Haab' is a 365-day year made up of a day of zero to 19 and 18 months with five unlucky days at the end of the year.
When the Tzolk'in and Haab' are both given, the date is called a calendar round. The same calendar round repeats every 18,980 days - 52 years; the calendar round on the mythical starting date of this creation was 4 Ahau 8 Kumk'u. When this date occurs again it is called a calendar round completion. A Year Bearer is a Tzolk'in day name that occurs on the first day of the Haab'. A number of different year bearer systems were in use in Mesoamerica; the Maya and European calendars are correlated by using the Julian day number of the starting date of the current creation — 126.96.36.199.0, 4 Ajaw, 8 Kumk'u. The Julian day number of noon on this day was 584,283; this is the GMT correlation. At the time of the Spanish conquest the Maya had many books; these were painted on folding bark cloth. The Spanish conquistadors and Catholic priests destroyed them; the most infamous example of this was the burning of a large number of these in Maní, Yucatán by Bishop Diego de Landa in July 1562. Only four of these codices exist today.
These are the Dresden, Madrid and Grolier codices. The Dresden Codex is an astronomical Almanac; the Madrid Codex consists of almanacs and horoscopes that were used to help Maya priests in the performance of their ceremonies and divinatory rituals. It contains astronomical tables, although less than are found in the other three surviving Maya codices; the Paris Codex contains prophecies for tuns and katuns, a Maya zodiac. The Grolier Codex is a Venus almanac. Ernst Förstemann, a librarian at the Royal Public Library of Dresden, recognized that the Dresden Codex is an astronomical almanac and was able to decipher much of it in the early 20th century; the Maya erected a large number of stelae. These had a Long Count date, they included a supplementary series. The supplementary series included lunar data - the number of days elapsed in the current lunation, the length of the lunation and the number of the lunation in a series of six; some of them included an 819-day count which may be a count of the days in a cycle associated with Jupiter.
See Jupiter and Saturn below. Some other astronomical events were recorded, for example the eclipse warning on Quirigua Stela E - 188.8.131.52.0. A partial solar eclipse was visible in Mesoamerica two days on 184.108.40.206.2 - Friday January 18, 771. Many Mayan temples were inscribed with hieroglyphic texts; these contain both astronomical content. Maya astronomy was naked-eye astronomy based on the observations of the azimuths of the
Mesoamerican writing systems
Mesoamerica, along with Mesopotamia and China, is among the three known places in the world where writing has thought to have developed independently. Mesoamerican scripts deciphered to date are a combination of syllabic values, they are called hieroglyphs due to the iconic shapes of many of the glyphs, a pattern superficially similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs. Fifteen examples of distinct writing systems have been identified in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, many from a single inscription; the limits of archaeological dating methods make it difficult to establish, the earliest and hence the fore-bearer from which the others developed. The best documented and deciphered Mesoamerican writing system, the most known, is the classic Maya script. An extensive Mesoamerican literature has been conserved in indigenous scripts and in the postconquest transcriptions in the Latin script. Early Olmec ceramics show representations of something that may be codices, suggesting that amatl bark codices, by extension well-developed writing, existed in Olmec times.
It was long thought that many of the glyphs present on Olmec monumental sculpture, such as those on the so-called "Ambassador Monument", represented an early Olmec script. This suspicion was reinforced in 2002 by the announcement of the discovery of similar glyphs at San Andres. In September 2006, a report published in Science magazine announced the discovery of the Cascajal block, a writing-tablet-sized block of serpentine with 62 characters unlike any yet seen in Mesoamerica; this block was discovered by locals in the Olmec heartland and was dated by the archaeologists to 900 BCE based on other debris. If the authenticity and date can be verified, this will prove to be the earliest writing yet found in Mesoamerica. Another candidate for earliest writing system in Mesoamerica is the writing system of the Zapotec culture. Rising in the late Pre-Classic era after the decline of the Olmec civilization, the Zapotecs of present-day Oaxaca built an empire around Monte Alban. On a few monuments at this archaeological site, archaeologists have found extended text in a glyphic script.
Some signs can be recognized as calendric information but the script as such remains undeciphered. Read in columns from top to bottom, its execution is somewhat cruder than that of the Classic Maya and this has led epigraphers to believe that the script was less phonetic than the syllabic Maya script; these are, speculations. The earliest known monument with Zapotec writing is a "Danzante" stone known as Monument 3, found in San Jose Mogote, Oaxaca, it has a relief of what appears to be a dead and bloodied captive with two glyphic signs between his legs representing his name. First dated to 500–600 BCE, this was earlier considered the earliest writing in Mesoamerica; however doubts have been expressed as to this dating and the monument may have been reused. The Zapotec script went out of use only in the late Classic period. A small number of artifacts found in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec show examples of another early Mesoamerican writing system, they are otherwise undeciphered. The longest of these texts are on the Tuxtla Statuette.
The writing system used is close to the Maya script, using affixal glyphs and Long Count dates, but is read only in one column at a time as is the Zapotec script. It has been suggested that this Isthmian or Epi-Olmec script is the direct predecessor of the Maya script, thus giving the Maya script a non-Maya origin. Another artifact with Epi-Olmec script is the Chiapa de Corzo stela, the oldest monument of the Americas inscribed with its own date: the Long Count on the stela dates it to 36 BCE. In a 1997 paper, John Justeson and Terrence Kaufman put forward a decipherment of Epi-Olmec; the following year, their interpretation was disputed by Stephen Houston and Michael D. Coe, who unsuccessfully applied Justeson and Kaufman's decipherment system against epi-Olmec script from the back of a hitherto unknown mask; the matter remains under dispute. In the highland Maya archaeological sites of Abaj Takalik and Kaminaljuyú writing has been found dating to Izapa culture, it is that in this area in late Pre-Classic times an ancient form of a Mixe–Zoquean language was spoken, the inscriptions found here may be in such a language rather than a Maya one.
Some glyphs in this scripts are readable as they are identical to Maya glyphs but the script remains undeciphered. The advanced decay and destruction of these archaeological sites make it improbable that more monuments with these scripts will come to light making possible a decipherment. Maya writing is attested from the mid-preclassic period in the center of Petén in the Maya lowlands, scholars have suggested that the earliest Maya inscriptions may in fact be the oldest of Mesoamerica; the earliest inscriptions in an identifiably Maya script date back to 200–300 BCE. Early examples include the painted inscriptions at the caves of Naj Tunich and La Cobanerita in El Petén, Guatemala; the most elaborate inscriptions are considered to be those at classic sites like Palenque, Copán and Tikal. The Maya script is considered to be the most developed Mesoamerican writing system because of its extraordinary aesthetics and because it has been deciphered. In Maya writing and syllable signs are combined.
Around 700 different glyphs have been documented, with some 75% having been deciphered. Around 7000 texts in Maya script have been documented. Maya writing first developed as only utilizing logograms, but included the use of phonetic complements in order to differentiate between the semantic meanings of
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Born in Medellín, Spain, to a family of lesser nobility, Cortés chose to pursue adventure and riches in the New World, he went to Hispaniola and to Cuba, where he received an encomienda. For a short time, he served. In 1519, he was elected captain of the third expedition to the mainland, which he funded, his enmity with the Governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, resulted in the recall of the expedition at the last moment, an order which Cortés ignored. Arriving on the continent, Cortés executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous people against others, he used a native woman, Doña Marina, as an interpreter.
She bore his first son. When the Governor of Cuba sent emissaries to arrest Cortés, he fought them and won, using the extra troops as reinforcements. Cortés wrote letters directly to the king asking to be acknowledged for his successes instead of being punished for mutiny. After he overthrew the Aztec Empire, Cortés was awarded the title of Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca, while the more prestigious title of Viceroy was given to a high-ranking nobleman, Antonio de Mendoza. In 1541 Cortés returned to Spain, where he died six years of natural causes but embittered; because of the controversial undertakings of Cortés and the scarcity of reliable sources of information about him, it is difficult to describe his personality or motivations. Early lionizing of the conquistadores did not encourage deep examination of Cortés. Modern reconsideration has done little to enlarge understanding regarding him; as a result of these historical trends, descriptions of Cortés tend to be simplistic, either damning or idealizing.
Cortés himself used the form "Hernando" or "Fernando" for his given name, as seen in his signature and the title of an early portrait. William Hickling Prescott's Conquest of Mexico refers to him as Hernando Cortés. At some point writers began using the shortened form of "Hernán" more generally. Cortés was born in 1485 in the town of Medellín, in modern-day Extremadura, Spain, his father, Martín Cortés de Monroy, born in 1449 to Rodrigo or Ruy Fernández de Monroy and his wife María Cortés, was an infantry captain of distinguished ancestry but slender means. Hernán's mother was Catalína Pizarro Altamirano. Through his mother, Hernán was second cousin once removed of Francisco Pizarro, who conquered the Inca Empire of modern-day Peru, not to be confused with another Francisco Pizarro, who joined Cortés to conquer the Aztecs. Through his father, Hernán was related to the third Governor of Hispaniola, his paternal great-grandfather was Rodrigo de Monroy y Almaraz, 5th Lord of Monroy. According to his biographer and friend Francisco López de Gómara, Cortés was pale and sickly as a child.
At the age of 14, he was sent to study Latin under an uncle in Salamanca. Modern historians have misconstrued this personal tutoring as time enrolled at the University of Salamanca. After two years, Cortés returned home to Medellín, much to the irritation of his parents, who had hoped to see him equipped for a profitable legal career. However, those two years at Salamanca, plus his long period of training and experience as a notary, first in Valladolid and in Hispaniola, gave him knowledge of the legal codes of Castile that he applied to help justify his unauthorized conquest of Mexico. At this point in his life, Cortés was described by Gómara as ruthless and mischievous; the 16-year-old youth had returned home to feel constrained life in his small provincial town. By this time, news of the exciting discoveries of Christopher Columbus in the New World was streaming back to Spain. Plans were made for Cortés to sail to the Americas with a family acquaintance and distant relative, Nicolás de Ovando, the newly appointed Governor of Hispaniola..
Cortés was prevented from traveling. He spent the next year wandering the country spending most of his time in Spain's southern ports of Cadiz, Palos and Seville, he left for Hispaniola in 1504 and became a colonist. Cortés reached Hispaniola in a ship commanded by Alonso Quintero, who tried to deceive his superiors and reach the New World before them in order to secure personal advantages. Quintero's mutinous conduct may have served as a model for Cortés in his subsequent career; the history of the conquistadores is rife with accounts of rivalry, jockeying for positions and betrayal. Upon his arrival in 1504 in Santo Domingo, the capital of Hispaniola, the 18-year-old Cortés registered as a citizen. Soon afterward, Governor Nicolás de Ovando granted him an encomienda and appointed him as a notary of the town of Azua de Compostela, his next five years seemed to help establish him in the colony. The expedition leader awarded him Indian slaves for his efforts. In 1511, Cortés accompanied Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, an aide of the Governor of Hispan
In typography, a glyph is an elemental symbol within an agreed set of symbols, intended to represent a readable character for the purposes of writing. Glyphs are considered to be unique marks that collectively add up to the spelling of a word or contribute to a specific meaning of what is written, with that meaning dependent on cultural and social usage. In most languages written in any variety of the Latin alphabet, the dot on a lower-case i is not a glyph because it does not convey any distinction, an i in which the dot has been accidentally omitted is still to be recognized correctly. However, in Turkish it is a glyph because that language has two distinct versions of the letter i, with and without a dot. In Japanese syllabaries, a number of the characters are made up of more than one separate mark, but in general these separate marks are not glyphs because they have no meaning by themselves. However, in some cases, additional marks fulfill the role of diacritics, to differentiate distinct characters.
Such additional marks constitute glyphs. In general, a diacritic is a glyph if it is contiguous with the rest of the character like a cedilla in French, the ogonek in several languages, or the stroke on a Polish "Ł"; some characters such as "æ" in Icelandic and the "ß" in German may be regarded as glyphs. They were ligatures, but over time have become characters in their own right. However, a ligature such as "ſi", treated in some typefaces as a single unit, is arguably not a glyph as this is just a quirk of the typeface an allographic feature, includes more than one grapheme. In normal handwriting long words are written "joined up", without the pen leaving the paper, the form of each written letter will vary depending on which letters precede and follow it, but that does not make the whole word into a single glyph. Two or more glyphs which have the same significance, whether used interchangeably or chosen depending on context, are called allographs of each other; the term has been used in English since 1727, borrowed from glyphe, from the Greek γλυφή, glyphē, "carving," and the verb γλύφειν, glýphein, "to hollow out, carve".
The word hieroglyph has a longer history in English, dating from an early use in an English to Italian dictionary published by John Florio in 1598, referencing the complex and mysterious characters of the Egyptian alphabet. The word glyph first came to widespread European attention with the engravings and lithographs from Frederick Catherwood's drawings of undeciphered glyphs of the Maya civilization in the early 1840s. In graphonomics, the term glyph is used for a noncharacter, i.e. either a subcharacter or multicharacter pattern. Most typographic glyphs originate from the characters of a typeface. In a typeface each character corresponds to a single glyph, but there are exceptions, such as a font used for a language with a large alphabet or complex writing system, where one character may correspond to several glyphs, or several characters to one glyph. In archaeology, a glyph is a inscribed symbol, it may be part of a writing system such as a syllable, or a logogram. A glyph is "the specific shape, design, or representation of a character".
It is a particular graphical representation, in a particular typeface, of an element of written language, which could be a grapheme, or part of a grapheme, or sometimes several graphemes in combination. If there is more than one allograph of a unit of writing, the choice between them depends on context or on the preference of the author, they now have to be treated as separate glyphs, because mechanical arrangements have to be available to differentiate between them and to print whichever of them is required; the same is true in computing. In computing as well as typography, the term "character" refers to a grapheme or grapheme-like unit of text, as found in natural language writing systems. In typography and computing, the range of graphemes is broader than in a written language in other ways too: a typographical font has to cope with a range of different languages each of which contribute their own graphemes, it may be required to print other symbols such as dingbats; the range of glyphs required increases correspondingly.
In summary, in typography and computing, a glyph is a graphical unit. Character encoding Complex text layout HTML decimal character rendering Letterform Palaeography, the study of ancient writing Punchcutting The dictionary definition of glyph at Wiktionary Media related to Glyphs at Wikimedia Commons
Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough
Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough was an Irish antiquarian who sought to prove that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were a Lost Tribe of Israel. His principal contribution was in making available facsimiles of ancient documents and some of the earliest explorers' reports on Pre-Columbian ruins and Maya civilisation, he was the eldest son of 3rd Earl of Kingston, Lord Kingsborough, the latter a Tory. He represented Cork County in parliament between 1826 as a Whig. In 1831, Lord Kingsborough published the first volume of Antiquities of Mexico, a collection of copies of various Mesoamerican codices, including the first complete publication of the Dresden Codex; the exorbitant cost of the reproductions, which were hand-painted, landed him in debtors' prison. These lavish publications represented some of the earliest published documentation of the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica, inspiring further exploration and research by John Lloyd Stephens and Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg in the early 19th century.
They were the product of early theories about non-indigenous origins for Native American civilisations that are represented in the Book of Mormon and myths about mound builders of Old World ancestry in North America. Lord Kingsborough was imprisoned for debts, which he had taken responsibility on behalf of his father, died in the Sheriff's Prison at Dublin of typhus on 27 February 1837, aged 41, two years before he would have succeeded to his father's title; the last two volumes of Antiquities of Mexico were published posthumously. The Codex Kingsborough is named after him. Antiquities of Mexico: comprising fac-similes of ancient Mexican paintings and hieroglyphics, preserved in the royal libraries of Paris and Dresden, in the Imperial library of Vienna, in the Vatican library. Together with the Monuments of New Spain, by M. Dupaix: with their respective scales of measurement and accompanying descriptions; the whole illustrated by Augustine Aglio. London: A. Aglio, R. Havell, H. G. Bohn. 1830–1848.
OCLC 5852094. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Viscount Kingsborough
Yuriy Valentinovich Knorozov was a Soviet linguist epigrapher and ethnographer, renowned for the pivotal role his research played in the decipherment of the Maya script, the writing system used by the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica. Knorozov was born in a village Pivdenne near Kharkiv, at that time the capital of the newly formed Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic, his parents were Russian intellectuals, his paternal grandmother Maria Sakhavyan had been a stage actress of national repute in Armenia. At school, the young Yuri was a difficult and somewhat eccentric student, who made indifferent progress in a number of subjects and was expelled for poor and willful behaviour. However, it became clear. In 1940 at the age of 17, Knorozov left Kharkiv for Moscow where he commenced undergraduate studies in the newly created Department of Ethnology at Moscow State University's faculty of History, he specialised in Egyptology. Knorozov's study plans were soon interrupted by the outbreak of World War II hostilities along the Eastern Front in mid-1941.
From 1943 to 1945 Knorozov served his term in the second world war in the Red Army as an artillery spotter. At the closing stages of the war in May 1945, Knorozov and his unit supported the push of the Red Army vanguard into Berlin, it was here, sometime in the aftermath of the Battle of Berlin, that Knorozov is supposed to have by chance retrieved a book which would spark his interest in and association with deciphering the Maya script. In their retelling, the details of this episode have acquired a somewhat folkloric quality, as "...one of the greatest legends of the history of Maya research". The story has been much reproduced following the 1992 publication of Michael D. Coe's Breaking the Maya Code. According to this version of the anecdote, when stationed in Berlin, Knorozov came across the National Library while it was ablaze. Somehow Knorozov managed to retrieve from the burning library a book, which remarkably enough turned out to be a rare edition containing reproductions of the three Maya codices which were known—the Dresden and Paris codices.
Knorozov is said to have taken this book back with him to Moscow at the end of the war, where its examination would form the basis for his pioneering research into the Maya script. However, in an interview conducted a year before his death, Knorozov provided a different version of the anecdote; as he explained to his interlocutor, the Mayanist epigrapher Harri Kettunen of the University of Helsinki: "Unfortunately it was a misunderstanding: I told about it to my colleague Michael Coe, but he didn't get it right. There wasn't any fire in the library, and the books that were in the library, were in boxes to be sent somewhere else. The fascist command had packed them, since they didn't have time to move them anywhere, they were taken to Moscow. I didn't see any fire there." The "National Library" mentioned in these accounts is not identified by name, but at the time the library known as the Preußische Staatsbibliothek had that function. Situated on Unter den Linden and today known as the Berlin State Library, this was the largest scientific library of Germany.
During the war, most of its collection had been dispersed over some 30 separate storage places across the country for safe-keeping. After the war much of the collection was returned to the library. However, a substantial number of volumes, sent for storage in the eastern part of the country were never recovered, with upwards of 350,000 volumes destroyed and a further 300,000 missing. Of these, many ended up in Soviet and Polish library collections, in particular at the Russian State Library in Moscow. According to documentary sources, the so-called "Berlin Affair" is just one of many legends related to the personality of Knorosov, his student Ershova exposed it as a legend and reported, that documents of Knorosov, first of all his military card, could be a proof, that he did not take part in the Battle of Berlin and was in a different place, finishing his service in a military unit located near Moscow. In the autumn of 1945 after World War II, Knorozov returned to Moscow State University to complete his undergraduate courses at the department of Ethnography.
He resumed his research into Egyptology, undertook comparative cultural studies in other fields such as Sinology. He displayed a particular interest and aptitude for the study of ancient languages and writing systems hieroglyphs, he read in medieval Japanese and Arabic literature. While still an undergraduate at MSU, Knorozov found work at the N. N. Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, part of the prestigious Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Knorozov's research findings would be published by the IEA under its imprint; as part of his ethnographic curriculum Knorozov spent several months as a member of a field expedition to the Central Asian Russian republics of the Uzbek and Turkmen SSRs. On this expedition his ostensible focus was to study the effects of Russian expansionary activities and "modern" developments upon the nomadic ethnic groups, of what was a far-flung frontier world of the Soviet state. At this point the focus of his research h
The Grolier Codex is a pre-Columbian Maya codex that first came to light in the 1970s. Its authenticity has since been disputed, although recent scholarship tends to support the view that it's a genuine pre-Columbian document. In 2018, a team of scientists from Mexico's National Institute for Archeology and History publicized the conclusion of a series of chemical tests that had found the ink used on the Codex to be pre-Columbian, dating the document to the period between 1021 and 1154 CE; this would make it the oldest surviving Maya codex. The Codex first appeared in a private collection in the 20th century and was displayed at the Grolier Club in New York, hence its name; the codex consists of a fragment of a Maya book, containing almanacs of Venus represented in a somewhat simplified fashion, compared to the known Maya codices. If genuine, the Grolier Codex would be only the fourth surviving pre-Columbian Maya book; the codex is said to have been recovered from a cave in the Mexican state of Chiapas in the 1960s, together with a mosaic mask and some blank pages of pre-Columbian fig-bark paper.
It was displayed at the Grolier Club from April 20 to June 5, 1971, is now held in Mexico City. In 1973, Michael D. Coe published the first half-size recto-side facsimile of the codex in The Maya Scribe and His World, produced by the Grolier Club; the codex contains a Venus almanac that, in structure, is related to the Venus almanac contained in the Dresden Codex. The codex, although displaying Mixtec stylistic features, is judged to be Maya based upon the use of bark paper instead of the deerhide preferred for Mixtec codices and because of the presence of Maya day signs and numbering; the Mixtec interpretation of the iconography may have been due to incomplete knowledge of highland Maya iconography during the Postclassic period. The codex is poorly preserved; the document is held by the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico city. In 2007, the physics institute of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México subjected the codex to non-destructive testing in an effort to determine its authenticity.
The results did not reach any firm conclusions. According to these tests, the document contains genuine pre-Columbian materials. In 2016 a team of Mayanists including Coe published a review of the evidence and presented further arguments in support of the authenticity of the document. In 2017, there was a critical review of the argument by Bruce Love, who argued that the codex's authenticity remained doubtful. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History judged it to be an authentic Pre-Columbian codex in 2018; the Grolier Codex is a screenfold book fashioned from bark paper, coated with stucco on both sides and painted on one side. Ten painted; the lower portions of the pages are badly damaged by moisture and staining bottom of each page. The greatest height of any of the surviving page fragments is 18 centimetres and the average page width is 12.5 centimetres. Several of the pages are still attached to each other, The lost pages would have been the first eight and the last two. Five single sheets of bark paper were found associated with the codex, they had no stucco coating and were brown and water stained.
Two of these had adhered to the codex and the other three may have once been with the codex but had separated. One of these sheets had a painted line in the same red hematite pigment used in the codex itself. A smaller sheet of bark paper was attached to the lined sheet and this smaller piece was submitted for radiocarbon dating; this testing produced a date for the sheet of AD 1230 ± 130. The lack of incrustations or insect damage to the codex suggests that, if genuine, it was stored inside a container for hundreds of years; the overall damaged state of the codex conflicts with the good preservation of surviving parts. Each page of the codex has been painted on one side with a standing figure facing left; each figure holds most grip a rope leading to a restrained captive. Colours used on the codex include hematite red, blue-green, a red wash and a brown wash, all upon a strong white background; the left-hand side of each page is marked by a column of day signs. Each day sign is associated with a bar-and-dot numerical coefficient.
Six pages depict a figure bearing weapons and accompanied by a captive, two pages both depict a figure hurling a dart at a temple. Page 7 of the codex shows a passive warrior standing in front of a tree. Page 11 depicts a death god with a javelin, pointing his weapon at a water vessel containing a snail. Page 10 is a badly damaged fragment with the subject obliterated. Based on the surviving portion, Michael Coe thought it depicted a standing figure wearing a waterbird headdress and bearing an atlatl; the figures represented on each page differ from those on the other Maya codices and are far more similar to the Mixtec codices and Toltec art styles of central Mexico. The heads of the death gods painted in the Grolier Codex are almos