The Mixtec Pictorial Manuscripts

Time, Agency and Memory in Ancient Mexico


The Mixtec civilization (of Oaxaca, Mexico) is one of the most interesting to survive from pre-colonial Mesoamerica. Among its characteristic products were highly artistic pictographic codices depicting the history and dynasties of its city-states. This handbook surveys and describes the illustrated Mixtec manuscripts that survive in Europe, the United States and Mexico, outlines the history of their decipherment, current questions, discussions and methodologies relating to readings, social organisation, religion and historical drama, and surveys the six centuries of Mixtec history covered in the texts.
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Maarten Jansen is Professor of Archeology and Ethnohistory of Mesoamerica at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. Decorated for his scholarly services by the Mexican government, he has headed numerous research projects funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and is the author of a wide range of publications on the interpretation of early Mexican art and history.
Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez is a native speaker of the Mixtec language and works at the University of Leiden on the project ‘Sahin Sau, an Endangered Language in Southern Mexico’. She also teaches Mixtec language and culture. With Maarten Jansen she co-authored Codex Bodley. A Painted Chronicle from the Mixtec Highlands, Mexico (Bodleian Library, Oxford, 2005) and Encounter with the Plumed Serpent. Drama and Power in the Heart of Mesoamerica (University Press of Colorado, Boulder, 2007).
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