"Bundling the sticks": tallies in Classic Maya inscriptions

Author(s): Alexandre Tokovinine

Year: 2016


This presentation addresses a set of references to “sticks” in Classic Maya inscriptions, which have been traditionally interpreted as weapons. The available contexts, however, indicate that “sticks” were involved in tribute payment transactions. Although there is no archaeological evidence of these presumably perishable wooden items, the author highlights some visual and material data that support the use of tallies by the Maya. The discussion then centers on less straightforward textual contexts of “sticks” and the implications of the tally hypothesis for our understanding of Classic Maya accounting practices.

Cite this Record

"Bundling the sticks": tallies in Classic Maya inscriptions. Alexandre Tokovinine. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403011)


Epigraphy Maya tallies

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;