Lord Jaguar's 2012 Inscriptions, by John Major Jenkins
A new publication exploring Maya inscriptions in a literary rendering. September 2011.
Lord Jaguar's 2012 Inscriptions contains a composite rendering of six hieroglyphic texts from Tortuguero. This project responds to the need to have more literary renderings of epigraphic decipherments. It actually follows up on earlier work I did with renderings of Central Mexican pictographic codices beginning about seventeen years ago. The Tortuguero texts are important because they reveal much about the 7th-century king, Bahlam Ajaw (Lord Jaguar), who commissioned the Monument 6 text that contains the 2012 period-ending date. My process of rendering was a multi-stage challenge, completed in August 2011. I integrated texts from Monument 1, 2, 6, and 8, the Wooden Box and the Jade 1 ornament. The result is a 265-line unrhymed rendering in stanza form. The rendering is presented in a three-column format, with line numbers on the left, brief date and monument source notes on the right, and the rendering in the middle.
The 52-page booklet that resulted includes an introduction, the rendering, several tables of calendrical and astronomical information, an extensive line-by-line commentary explaining my word choices and rationale, and an afterword. The letterpress cover was hand-set with metal type and produced on my 1902 Chandler & Price platen press printer. I am offering a limited-edition release of this nicely produced booklet, signed and numbered.
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