Sunday, October 7, 2012

Carl Callaway's PhD Thesis: A Catalogue Of Maya Era Day Inscriptions

South Face of Quirigua Zoomorph P that contains an era day inscription
Well its official, I received notice from La Trobe University that my PhD was granted so I can finally share a copy of my dissertation on Maya era day inscriptions. I hope it is as rewarding for you to read as it was for me to research and write. All the source data for all known era day events (the verbs, the gods, the locations) is listed in the appendices for easy reference.  Here is the abstract :

The following work is a catalogue of all known era day inscriptions existing in the Maya hieroglyphic corpus originating from Classic Period Maya (250-900 AD) sites in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. It compiles those mythic texts that occurred within a single day— the inaugural date of the Maya Long Count and the establishment of a new cosmic era on 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u (August 11, 3114 BC). Although past reviews  of era day mythology have greatly expanded our knowledge of Maya mythic history, they do not give a complete inventory of all known passages. This project offers a full inventory of these sacred texts and scrupulously analyzes each component including the various era day events, gods and mythic locales. In addition, the work examines Maya myth from an emic perspective by evaluating the different genres of mythology found within Maya literature with the purpose of clarifying how myth acted as a living force within society. It includes a transliteration, transcription and translation of each passage followed by a commentary that explores each text’s mythic, historic, architectural and religious associations. Once compiled, the work attempts to organize these passages within a hypothetical narrative and produce a tentative reconstruction of the basic era day story. At the very least, this study seeks to provide an organized body of data for future researchers interested in the topic of Maya cosmology.

I've uploaded a copy of the thesis ontoGoogle Docs at (send me an email and I can give you access): 

Looking back on the project, I now understand the James Joyce quote: "Anything deeply considered is a pathway to the gods". The dissertation is but a small glimpse into the imago mundi of ancient Maya cosmology and how myth gave birth to the Maya universe.

All the Best in 2012,


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