|The Maya wrote their books, or codices, in ideograms. Thousands upon thousands were created, and almost all were burned by European Invaders. One involved in destroying the codices was Friar Diego de Landa (1524-1579), the Bishop of Yucatán. "We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction," he said. To preserve the remaining books, the Maya buried them or hid them in caves. Some have been found, but because of the humidity in the jungles, only fragments remain, and all their pictures have long since decayed. Luckily, three codices did survive, probably because they were already in Europe, although how they got there is a mystery. They lay forgotten for 250 years in three separate cities until, under very risky circumstances, they became known in Dresden, Germany; Paris, France; and Madrid, Spain.|
Dresden Codex: the most beautiful, complete and
best made of the three. Written on kopo, the codex was made between A.D.
1000-1200, and was still possibly in use when the conquistadors arrived.
Basically about astronomy, the codex includes almanacs and day counts
for worship and prophecies; astronomical and astrological tables; and
katún (a 20-year period) prophecies; references and predictions for time
and agriculture; favorable days for predictions, and texts about
sickness and medicine. It also contains a page about a flood, a prophecy
or maybe a reference to the rainy seasons so vital to the Maya.