Guided Primary Source Analysis: Maya Dresden Codex

Maya Dresden Codex
Codex Dresdensis: Sächsische Landesbibliothek Dresden (Mscr. Dresd. R 310)/ Kommentar, Helmut Deckert, zur Geschichte der Dresdner Maya-Handschrift; Ferdinand Anders, die Dresdner Maya-Handschrift kodikologische Beschreibung. Graz, Austria: Akadem. Druck-u Verlagsanstalt, 1975. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.

Compare and contrast this image with the other codex images included in the Heavens and Time section of the Exploring the Early Americas online exhibition. What similarities and differences do you notice?

Investigate a codex-style vase. What did you learn? Describe a new insight you gained about the image above or another codex image.

The Dresden Codex is the most comprehensive source of Maya astronomy and calendar systems. It includes tables for predicting events and scheduling religious ceremonies that are based on the solar cycle and the cycles of the Moon and Venus. Create your own personal codex for an upcoming event or ceremony in your life.

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!

Don’t miss the Library webcast featuring archaeologist & art historian David Stuart: Deciphering the Art of the Ancient Maya & the Year 2012