Talk:Dresden Codex

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Dresden Codex has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
December 7, 2016Good article nomineeNot listed
January 4, 2017Good article nomineeListed
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on September 18, 2008.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that the Dresden Codex is the earliest known book written in the Americas?
Current status: Good article


It would be helpful if the article included the estimated age of the manuscript. Oldest, but compared to what? --MacRusgail (talk) 16:18, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

According to, the age is about 755 AD. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrystomath2 (talkcontribs) 06:55, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Forstemann quoteEdit

The point of this quote is to document where the "end of the world" meme began. True or false is irrelevant. BTW Mark Van Stone's contributions are not even in the same league as Forstemann's. It's like putting a minor leaguer up against Mickey Mantle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:06, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I am happy to acknowledge Forsetmann's contributions to the field, particularly, as with many of his era, to the analysis of material that was previously not studied in a scholarly manner. Many of his numbers were accurate and his work groundbreaking. However, as with many of his contemporaries, Forstemann's conclusions and commentary were based on pure speculation as we did not understand the glyphs yet; the same could be said of Thompson. It does not invalidate their work. It simply acknowledges that we have moved beyond certain aspects of it. No one talks about Queen Moo over at Chichen Itza anymore, either. I'm glad the whole 2012 section was removed. DuendeThumb (talk) 04:32, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Work done to solve these GA issuesEdit

  • I have copy edited the complete article and double-checked all the references. I have scanned pages of the main source of Thompson and can provide links.
  • Sentence of The Dresden Codex contains astronomical tables of great accuracy. = changed to The Dresden Codex contains accurate astronomical information. It is now referenced with Thompson, page 71.
  • Sentence of It is most famous for its Lunar Series and Venus table. = copy edited accordingly and referenced with Thompson, page 62-71.
  • Sentence of ...purchased the codex from a private owner in Vienna in 1739 in his travels on his way to Italy IS referenced to Thompson, page 16.
  • Sentence of ...Dresden librarian Ernst Wilhelm Förstemann deciphered the calendar section of the codex in the nineteenth... copyedited to ...Dresden librarian Ernst Wilhelm Förstemann published the first complete facsimile in 1880 and deciphered the calendar section of the codex in the nineteenth... (referenced to Thompson and Coe)
  • Sentence of ...based on its glyph looking like those found at Palenque is referenced to Thompson, page 17. (plus reference of The New York Times newspaper clipping of 1896.)
  • Added sentence with references - Historian Cyrus Thomas made a connection in the Dresden codex of the 260 year cycle ("Ahau Katun") of the Maya calendar and that it was related to 365 days in a year. Added several references for this.
  • Anzovin hard copy book source of "Famous First Facts, International Edition: A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries, and Inventions in World History" is reference on page 197 as item 3342 and reads, The first book written in the Americas known to historians is the Dresden Codex.'
  • The German references of Decker and the Sächsische Landesbibliothek I have removed.
  • Removed source - Sharer, Robert J. (2006) "The Ancient Maya" Stanford University Press 978-0-8047-4817-9.
  • World War II reference is not to Sharer source and was not cited here because it is to Thompson reference used of page 19. and Coe, page 3. Sentence of "The codex suffered serious water damage during World War II" has been copy edited to "The codex unfortunately had direct water damage during the second World War.(Coe, p. 3) German historian G. Zimmerman noted it was extreme on pages 2, 4, 24, 28, 34, 38, 71 and 72. Some of the details of certain glyph images were lost as can be seen compared to the 1880 and 1892 Förstemann facsimile editions."
  • The section "Page numbers and sequence" has been removed and replaced with section "Deterioration and pagination" with information on those parts. Reference is Thompson, page 18.
  •   Done - addressed all the issues for all the review readings for GA1. --Doug Coldwell (talk) 19:12, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Current page sequenceEdit

The current page sequence has not been changed since 1945, when the then wet pages were put on glass for drying and become "glued" there. (See Helmut Deckert: Zur Geschichte der Dresdner Maya-Handschrift. In: Codex Dresdensis, Kommentar. Akademische Druckerei- und Verlags-Anstalt, Graz 1975, p. 41.) Hence, the caption of the picture depicting the current sequence should state "The presentation of the Dresden Codex since 1945". (Originally, I uploaded the figure and this caption with the reference, however, the caption has now been modified and the reference removed.) I wish we could correct this. Thank you.--Linear77 (talk) 16:41, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Sure - no problem. I changed it back to 1945.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 18:51, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
I got the 1962 idea from Thompson source, page 18 (far left column). --Doug Coldwell (talk) 18:57, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Doug. I think Thompson described the actual sequence as it was reported in 1962 which says nothing when the exchange (pages 6/40, 7/39 und 8/38) actually happened. Thanks again for correcting it.--Linear77 (talk) 16:45, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Gates version of Dresden Image?Edit

The first image on this page is from the Gates edition of Dresden. The Gates edition is just terrible, as it is essentially only loosely related to the original codex. Gates kind of produced a font for Maya glyphs and regularized the images of gods and things. This really needs to be replaced with images the Förstemann photographs (which can be found here: It was done the 1880s, so is out of copyright. The Kingsborough drawings would also be acceptable as they are a pretty good representation of the original ( Kingsborough drawings were done in the 1830s, so also out of copyright. Even Villacorta's black and white drawings would be better than Gates, as Villacorta tried to be accurate. --Grr (talk) 05:30, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

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