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Ancient Mayan Glyphs in Oakland!

Yesterday I was having lunch at a very nice little cafe called Tribu (it's near where I change buses on my way to the pain doc's office & I had time to kill), sitting at an outside table, and I noticed a bit of white graffiti spray-painted on the wall. I wish I'd taken a picture of it. It was the Mayan number 13!

About 20 years ago, when I was working at a small publishing services company in Oakland, I typeset a book by Robert Sharer called The Ancient Maya, and all of the chapter numbers were in the Mayan script. I think they might even have been in the running heads, and therefore appearing on every page. In any case, over the course of working on this lengthy book (which had a lot of very picky layout needs and therefore took a lot of attention), I learned the numbering system up to 19.

I recognized the glyph immediately on the wall. I'm not sure if the person who drew the graffiti intended it as a Mayan number, but it was a reminder that all of us have strange, eclectic bits of knowledge we've gathered over the course of our lives. Who would have thought I would recognize a Mayan number glyph?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC)
:( sad to say, if it was graffiti it was likely a gang marking. I am working for CDCR and learning about the various gang tattoos and markings that are popular in California and a few gangs have adopted the Mayan numbers.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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