Originally published in Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 483 (Beyer 1937), this paper is presented in digital format for its historical interest. Its structural analysis of the inscriptions of Chichen Itza represented a breakthrough in the methodology of glyphic decipherment, in the recognition of repeating clusters of glyphs at a single site as well as a sensitivity to the relative age of the texts (Houston, Chinchilla Mazariegos and Stuart 2001).

Since its original presentation, many further advances have been made in glyphic research. For instance, the author's "Group One"—"Hieroglyph Hand-Corpse-Head in Combinations" (depicted above)—is now known to be part of the name of the Chichen Itza ruler K'ak' Upakal K'awiil. (David Kelley's 1962 decipherment of the first part of this name as that of a historical person helped usher in the current era of rapid advances in glyphic studies.)

Chapter One: Glyph Pairs and Glyph Series

Chapter Two: Single Hieroglyphs

Chapter Three: Hieroglyphs for Kin in Connection with Day Signs

Chapter Four: Calendar Round Dates

Chapter Five: Hieroglyphic Expression for "End of — Tun, ending on — Ahau"

Chapter Six: Various Chronological Hieroglyphs

Chapter Seven: Hieroglyphs for Ending or Completion

Chapter Eight: Stylistic Differences and Relative Chronology; Appendix and Bibliography