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Books in Mayan hieroglyphic writing that survived the Spanish conquest. They are made of fig-bark paper folded like an accordion, with covers of jaguar skin. Though most Mayan books were destroyed as pagan by Spanish priests, four are known to have survived: the Dresden Codex, probably dating from the 11th or 12th century, a copy of earlier texts of the 5th–9th century; the Madrid Codex, dating from the 15th century; the Paris Codex, slightly older than the Madrid Codex; and the Grolier Codex, discovered in 1971 and dated to the 13th century. They deal with astronomical calculations, divination, and ritual.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Maya Codices, visit Britannica.com.
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