Mayan apocalypse? Boring!

Mayan languages? Interesting!

While some people are freaking out about the latest End of the World, you can find out what Mayan languages are like, and how their writing system was deciphered.

Linguist Daniel Midgley takes you there on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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It’s our 100th show! And possibly our last, if this Mayan thing turns out to be true. But instead of talking too much about that, I talk about Mayan languages, and how the Mayan writing system was deciphered.

I have one regret about this show. I said something about: How clever could the Mayans have been? They didn’t predict the Spanish conquistadors. And after the show, our producer Peter Barr told me to cut them some slack, because no one expects the Spanish Inquisition. What a shame that I’m not as clever as Barrsy.


Show notes

The Mayan apocalypse is not happening
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/12/nasa-patiently-explains-why-the-mayan-apocalypse-is-definitely-not-happening/266242/

but here’s an interesting site about their calendrical system.
http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/mayan.html

Relevant ‘Bizarro’ cartoon
Link

Some facts about Mayan languages
http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=yua

More facts about Mayan languages
http://www.crystalinks.com/mayanlanguages.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayan_languages

Some Mayan history
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/tikal.html

And finally, “Cracking the Mayan Code”: A PBS documentary about the decipherment of Mayan. Highly recommended.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56t6WSbg7eY


Show tunes

Chris and Cosey: Gates of Ancient Cities
Album: Trance

The Devils: Aztec Moon
Album The Devils