A Sign Catalog: Glyphs in Selected Text-Like Layouts at Teotihuacan

Joanne Michel Guerrero
Paris Monographs in American Archaeology


This volume closely examines and catalogs a limited set of glyphic elements found at the archaeological site of Teotihuacan in Mexico. This study serves as an initial investigation to verify whether these glyphs may be part of a writing system in use at the site. The author looks at two specific sources of glyphs and glyph compounds at Teotihuacan that appear to be the largest sets of co-occurring glyphs and contain the largest number of glyphs. One set, in particular, has not yet been studied in detail and therefore will present new information within this area of research. Furthermore, there has not been a steady or significant amount of glyphic research carried out at Teotihuacan in recent years, since Taube (2000). The investigation was structured to thoroughly analyze the data for similarities between the selected glyphic elements from Teotihuacan and the requirements for writing systems. For that reason, basic linguistic tests were conducted on the data to determine whether the glyphic elements had similarities with those requirements for Mesoamerican writing systems. This work is not a decAherment. Instead, its aim is to verify whether the glyphic elements at Teotihuacan could potentially be a writing system, catalog them in an orderly fashion, conduct a comparative analysis between them and others found within Teotihuacan and elsewhere in Mesoamerica, and conclude whether further research in the way of a complete decAherment is a possibility if future data is uncovered at the site.