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Classic Maya Place Name Database

Database compiled by Alexander Tokovinine as an online appendix to Place and Identity in Classic Maya Narratives

The database of Classic Maya place names is a collection of approximately 2,400 references to toponyms in Classic Maya inscriptions and approximately 600 search queries saved as a Microsoft Access 2007 file. The database was created as a research tool for Place and Identity in Classic Maya Narratives. The core of the database is a master table that contains information about each place name occurrence: its spelling (transcription) and transliteration; the transliteration of a sentence where it occurs; its associated site; and its source information, including monument and provenience, context description, date, and image references (if available). A typical entry in the master table looks like this:

Database of Classic Maya Place Names; example of master table entry

In addition to the master table, the database includes a number of derived tables including counts of context types, distinct place names, and source groups. There are approximately 600 queries for specific place names and contexts. A typical place name query simply identifies all occurrences of a given toponym. Context queries search the master table by broader context categories (such as “context type” or “context info”) or by specific syntax patterns from the “full context.” For example, a search for a combination of the jubuuy verb, a toponym, and the term ch’e’n may return, among other entries, the following line (with irrelevant fields not included):

Database of Classic Maya Place Names; example of derived query, place name table

Although each DB # was originally accompanied by an image (a drawing or a photograph) of the corresponding section of the hieroglyphic inscription, the images are not included in the appendix to avoid problems with copyright. (I obtained many drawings and photographs for research purposes only and not for publication.) At one point, I considered making new drawings, but the time required to complete 2,400 drawings would have been too long. Therefore, the image files, along with handwritten preliminary notes, remain in my possession, and will be available should the need arise to discuss or to correct any entries in the database.

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