Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya

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Project team

  • Director: Nikolai Grube
  • Collaborators: Christian Prager, Elisabeth Wagner, Sven Gronemeyer, Katja Diederichs


From the project website(accessed 2021-06-13):

In 2014, the Düsseldorf North Rhine-Westphalia Academy of Sciences and Art Institute set up the "Text Database and Dictionary of Mayan Classical Characters" in the Philosophy Department of the University of Bonn to study the characters and languages of Maya culture (press releases and short films) . The project led by Dr. Nikolai Grube from the Department of Ancient Studies in the United States is to perform text technology and stone processing on all Mayan hieroglyphic texts. On this basis, it will be compiled and edited for the next fifteen years. This long-term project funded 5.4 million euros, is positioned in the digital humanities in an orderly manner, and cooperated with the eHumanities research association TextGrid (University Library of Lower Saxony and Göttingen) and universities and state universities to develop the Bonn Library Dictionary Project to form Bonn An important interface between university humanities and computer science.

The team developed ALMAH "Annotator for the Linguistic Analysis of Maya Hieroglyphs" . It allows the semi-automatic generation of the phonemic transliteration from the numerical one and enables multi-level annotation and linguistic analysis of the Maya texts. The transcriptions are accepted, rejected or revised in the further steps. Alternative readings can be entered, two or more decipherment proposals can be worked on in parallel, and thus the hieroglyphic texts can be analysed and translated with alternative proposals. ALMAH is based on a graph-data model. It reads the data from the TEI-Repository and saves the annotated texts into an instance of OrientDB. Written in Java, it has a friendly user-interface and will be available as open-source to the research community.


  • Christian Prager & Cristina Vertan (2021). “Machines Reading and Deciphering Maya Hieroglyphs: Towards a Digital Epigraphy of Maya Hieroglyphic Writing” Digital Classicist Seminar. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuAAY5gnMyE