Vol. 19:1 (2016) ► pp.35–74
A study in Mayan paleography
The history of T168/2M1a ʔAJAW ‘Lord, Ruler’ and the origin of the syllabogram T130/2S2 wa
This paper constitutes an application of paleographic analysis of ancient Mayan hieroglyphic writing in line with the comprehensive approach elaborated by Lacadena (1995a, 1995b). More specifically, it reviews the evidence for the origin and development of T168/2M1a, the logogram ʔAJAW ‘lord, ruler’, and proposes a relationship between it and T130/2S2, the syllabogram wa. Additionally, the paper contributes with a more complete diachronic perspective than has been attempted before by incorporating evidence from the earliest texts. Moreover, a graphic relationship between T168/2M1a and T130/2S2 is proposed, explained on the basis of designs of T168/2M1a starting in the Late Preclassic and Early Classic, as well as the graphic operations of rotation and ‘re-rotation’, a process introduced in this paper for the first time. The paper also suggests that the relationship between these signs is not merely graphic, but also acrophonic, and it elaborates a typology and chronological seriation of T168/2M1a, with the aim of assisting scholars in assigning relative chronologies to unprovenienced texts lacking calendrical data.